Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy 104th Halloween America ▲ Pick a Witch with Google's Doodle

"Double, double toil and trouble;
fire burn and cauldron bubble."

~~ William Shakespeare, “Macbeth, 1611

English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". (1564-1616)

Google Doodle celebrates Halloween with the Global Candy Cup 2015 interactive contest doodle.

Red witch, green witch, yellow witch, blue witch ~ Are you a blue, red, yellow or green witch? Pick a Witch with Google's Halloween Candy Cup Contest doodle and BoooOooH ha ha ha to witches and broomsticks :)

The "Choose a team and grab that candy" Google Doodle is a global interactive competition of four witches who race to collect the most candy before the end of Halloween. Pick a witch and keep playing throughout the day to add to your team’s score. Only one team will go home with the Cup — will it be yours?

You can concoct your own witches brew potion with this innovative witches brew interactive doodle.

Using combinations of apple, bone, skull or tonic by clicking on the icon will stir up different witch brews.

Are you a kind sparkling, good witch or a mean green, bad witch?

Much more than a just a Google doodle, today many internet surfers enjoyed spooky, interactive, search results instead of Google’s customary and “I’m Feeling Lucky” search options.

Fifteen Halloween's ago, Google posted it's very first Halloween Google Doodle.

Photo right, screen capture of Google's first Halloween Doodle, October 31, 1999.

Internationally, Halloween's first celebration traces back to 1895 in Scotland and for North America the first Halloween was celebrated in 1911.

Enjoy this collage of Halloween Google Doodles above or to experience Google Doodles of Halloween's past, visit the following links:

Halloween Global Candy Cup 2015
Favorite Monsters Google Doodle 2014
Google Halloween 2013 doodle.
Google Halloween 2012 doodle
Google's 2011 carving pumpkin doodle celebrating 100 Halloween years
Google Halloween 2010 doodle
Google Halloween 2009 doodle
Google Halloween 2008 doodle
Google Halloween 2007 doodle
Google Halloween 2006 doodle
Google Halloween 2005 doodle
Google Halloween 2004 doodle
Google Halloween 2003 doodle
Google Halloween 2002 doodle
Google Halloween 2001 doodle
Google Halloween 2000 doodle
Google Halloween 1999 doodle

Happy Halloween to you and yours!

What do you think of Google’s Halloween doodle today?


Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening"), also known as All Hallows' Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints) and the day initiating the triduum of Hallowmas.

Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, "Trick or treat?" The word "trick" refers to "threat" to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.

According to Frank Leslie's popular monthly, (Volume 40, November 1895, p. 540-543) in Scotland and Ireland, guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins – is a traditional Halloween custom, and was recorded in Scotland at Halloween as far back as 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visited homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money.

The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America was first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going "guising" around the neighborhood was first noted by Rogers, Nicholas, "Coming Over: Halloween in North America". Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. p.76. Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-19-514691-3.

American historian and author Ruth Edna Kelley of Massachusetts wrote the first book length history of Halloween in the US; The Book of Hallowe'en (1919), and references souling in the chapter "Hallowe'en in America":

"The taste in Hallowe'en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Burn's poem Hallowe'en as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe'en is out of fashion now."


▲ Google's Halloween doodle turns you into a witch, CNET,
▲ The wizards behind Google's doodles, CNET,
▲ Halloween witch: The real history behind Google's doodle, The Christian Monitor,
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health hosts 21st annual black tie & sneakers gala in NYC

     “Our 21st annual gala is a milestone occasion and we are honored to celebrate it by honoring the legacy of our founder Arthur Ashe - the late tennis champion and humanitarian.
      Like Arthur, each of our honorees is a trailblazer and they exemplify his commitment to making the world a healthier and more equitable place.”
~~ Ruth C. Browne, SD, MPP, MPH, CEO of The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.

"See what you missed" photos of The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health have been uploaded onto FACEBOOK. Enjoy!

The "see what you missed" video of the event is up and running on Youtube. Enjoy!

Photo below L-R, Susan Lucci, Tim Morehouse; Courtesy James Grant Public Relations (JGPR)
The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health hosted its 21st annual black tie & sneakers gala on Wednesday, October 21st at Guastavino's, 409 East 59th Street in New York City.

The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health honored:

Susan Lucci, star of “Devious Maids,” Emmy® award-winner for “All My Children,” New York Times best-selling author and entrepreneur.
Tim Morehouse, Olympic Medalist in Fencing, and Founder, Fencing in the Schools.
Dr. Gary A. Puckrein, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Minority Quality Forum.
Ivan D. Smith, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP.
Dr. John F. Williams, President, SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
AstraZeneca, a biopharmaceutical company honored for their global commitment to health and well-being.

The gala was hosted by Cheryl Wills, award-winning NY1 News Anchor and best-selling author, and by Dean Meminger, NY1 News Reporter.

VIP attendees included: Ruth C. Browne, CEO of The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health; Susan Lucci, Emmy® Award-winning star of the hit series “Devious Maids” (which was just renewed for Season #4), host of Deadly Affairs, and New York Times best-selling author; Tim Morehouse, U.S. Olympic Silver Medalist, Fencing, CEO & Founder, Fencing in the Schools; Dr. Gary A. Puckrein, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Minority Quality Forum; Ivan D. Smith, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP; Dr. John F. Williams, President, SUNY Downstate Medical Center; Prince Amukamara, NFL Cornerback for the New York Giants; Steve Weatherford, former Punter for the New York Giants; Liza Huber, Founder & CEO of Sage Spoonfuls; Rich “Big Daddy” Salgado, President of Coastal Advisors LLC, and Fayrene May; Cal Ramsey, former NBA Small Forward for the New York Knicks; Kym Hampton, former WNBA Center for the New York Liberty; Mike Woods, Meteorologist, Fox 5’s “Good Day New York,” and People Magazine’s “Sexiest Anchor Alive;” Cheryl Wills, award-winning NY1 News Anchor and best-selling author; Dean Meminger, NY1 News Host; Walter T. Mosley, New York State Assemblyman; Rachael Kun Morehouse, Six-time Emmy® Award- winning Associate Producer, CBS News “60 Minutes”.

About The Event

The funds raised at Sports Ball support the Institute’s innovative community health education programs and research initiatives.  Arthur Ashe founded the Institute in 1992, in partnership with SUNY Downstate Medical Center, just two months before his death from AIDS and in response to the disproportionate amount of illness and death in urban communities from preventable causes.  Arthur knew that many diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, are the result of inadequate health care delivery, late detection and insufficient health education. Leading sponsors for Sports Ball 2015 included American Benefits Consulting, American Express, AstraZeneca, BET, BMW, BNY Mellon, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Gilead Sciences, GNYHA Ventures, Healthfirst, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Korn Ferry, Macy’s, Maimonides Medical Center, MetLife, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, USTA, Vladeck Raskin & Clark PC and Wyckoff Medical Center. Each guest received a pair of Reebok sneakers compliments of the Institute. The evening included interactive games, dinner, dancing, entertainment, an awards ceremony, and a silent auction.

For media information about the Sportsball or the important ongoing work and programs the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health provides, please contact Paul Nugent or Matt Flynn at JGPR:,  or (917) 626-1300.

JGPR- James Grant Public Relations provides marketing, publicity, and press for clients who are serious about strategizing and targeting mainstream media. The company currently has clients based in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and other cities. Whether it is a global corporation, film studio, national non-profit organization, personality, awards gala or an A-List charity event, JGPR specializes in getting the message out effectively to television, online and social media, print, and radio. We exclusively tailor a specific tactical blueprint for each client in order to achieve their marketing and media objectives. JamesGrantPR on Facebook, JamesGrantPR on Twitter, JamesGrantPR on YouTube.

The “See What You Missed” video of the event will be here soon so stay tuned. Watch, see what you missed and please share with your social media and professional networks. Thanks.

Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, James Grant PR, Susan Lucci, Cheryl Wills NY1, Mike Woods – Meteorologist & Reporter, Dean Meminger, Health and Wellness,

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Happy 164th to Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick

“There she blows!-there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!”
~~ Herman Melville, American author, quote taken from his book, Moby Dick, chapter 133: The Chase -- First Day (b. August 1, 1819 – d. September 28, 1891)

Hard to believe, Herman Melville’s classic, "Moby Dick," was not well received 164 years ago (1851) by British reviewers and bombed big time. Who would think that it was a native New Yorker author, Herman Melville coined "There she blows ~ There she blows ..." Image above screenshot taken from Google doodle, celebrating Moby Dick's 161st as posted on October 18, 2012 at

Classified as American Romanticism, in Britain it was first published by Richard Bentley in London on October 18, 1851 and on November 14, 1851 in the U.S.

"Moby Dick" sold only 500 copies in the United Kingdom, compared to 6,700 for Melville's first book, "Typee."

According to The Christian Science Monitor“shortly after Melville's death in 1891, his publisher reprinted several of his novels, including "Moby Dick."

These new editions excited New York's literary scene. Like long-smoldering embers, this underground movement kept Melville's name alive.

Eventually, the flame spread. So much discussion surrounded "Moby Dick" that many people gave the book a second chance.”

Other Resources
The Christian Science Monitor, Herman Melville books: At first, 'Moby Dick' was a total flop
Moby Dick on Wikipedia

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Saturday Night Live reaches "over the hill" status: Premiered 40 years ago today (10/11/15) HAPPY 40TH SNL

"Talk about a live show! It's nice to see you, welcome, and thanks for joining us -- live. I’m kinda glad that we’re on at night so that we’re not competing with all the football and baseball games. So many man … Football represents something we are. We are Europe Junior....What was the Europe Game?.... Let's take their land away from them...Football is a ground acquisition game... " ~~ George Carlin, (5/12/37 – 6/22/08) Comedy Icon, activist, actor, and author. Quote from opening line of George Carlin where he hosted the first “Saturday Night Live,” broadcast 10/11/1975. Photo SNL information courtesy of; Video below embedded from hulu; SNL 1st Season, 1st Episode; Video George Carlin opening skit,; SNL monologue script at
First SNL broadcast, 10/11/75, featuring first host, George Carlin video

Happy 40th SNL! SNL may be over the hill but this skit-driven variety show is still going strong 40 years later making live audiences and TV viewers laugh hard as ever. American late-night live TV sketch comedy/variety, SNL, premiered 40 years ago (10/11/75) on NBC.

Originally called "Saturday Night, the opening sketch roughly 5 minutes begins with a special celebrity guest host performing and ends with the signature catchphrase, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!

Wolverines segment with John Belushi, aired 10/11/1975

Created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Eberson, SNL is one of the longest-running network television programs in the United States. The show is broadcast from Studio 8H at NBC's headquarters in the Comcast Building.

In 1977 the show changed its name to Saturday Night Live (apparently there was a name conflict "Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell" which debuted on ABC 9/20/75, was cancelled two months later).

Performed live in front of a studio audience, SNL immediately established a reputation for being cutting-edge and unpredictable. It became a vehicle for launching the careers of some of the most successful comedians in the United States.

Throughout four decades on air, Saturday Night Live has received a number of awards, including 36 Primetime Emmy Awards, two Peabody Awards, and three Writers Guild of America Awards. In 2000, it was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

It was ranked tenth in TV Guide‍‍ '​‍s "50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time" list, and in 2007 it was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME". As of 2012, it has received 156 Emmy nominations, the most received by any TV show. The live aspect of the show has resulted in several controversies and acts of censorship, with mistakes and intentional acts of sabotage by performers as well as guests.

▲   First season of SNL,
▲   Tickets to see SNL,
▲   SNL Season 1, Episode 1,
▲   SNL on Wikipedia,
▲   SCHILLER'S REEL, "Don't Look Back In Anger" skit with John Belushi,
▲   28 'SNL' catchphrases that have kept us laughing for 40 years, Mashable,
▲   The 35 best SNL Skits of All Time, HuffPost,
▲   The Killer Bees: Home Invasion, NBC,
▲   SNL 1st Season, 1st Episode, George Carlin Monologue on NBC video link at;

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Happy 65th BDay Peanuts: Did you know that Americas most beloved, pop culture comic strip turns 65 today? October 2, 1950

“My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?” ~~ Charles M. Schulz, aka “Sparky, most influential “American cartoonist, “Peanuts” creator, Charlie Brown protagonist, based on his life as a child.

Photo courtesy of
Sixty five years ago today, "Peanuts," known by many as the most influential popular culture comic strip, premiered (October 2, 1950), in nine newspapers:

The Washington Post,
The Chicago Tribune,
The Minneapolis Tribune,
The Allentown Call-Chronicle,
The Bethlehem Globe-Times,
The Denver Post,
The Seattle Times,
The New York World-Telegram & Sun,
and The Boston Globe.
Trials, tribulations and life lessons of 8-year-old Charlie Brown with subtle racial and gender equality issues, and dashes of politics were celebrated throughout this cherished, American comic series which appeared in print for over five decades, and quickly finding the way to TV, Theater, Film and later on, Digital.

Originally a daily comic strip -- the first strip was only four panels long.

Charlie Brown is shown walking by two other friends, Shermy and Patty. Shermy greets Charlie Brown as he walks by, but then tells Patty how he “hates him.”
Photo of first comic strip above, courtesy of

This marked the ultimate precedent -- the first time ever (1950s) where comic strips depicted a child expressing hatred for others.

Another early famous character in the strip, Snoopy, Charlie Brown's pet dog with uncanny mind abilities, first appeared in the third strip, which ran on October 4.

The first Peanut Sunday strip appeared January 6, 1952, in the half-page format.

Photos courtesy of

The final daily original Peanuts comic strip was published on January 3, 2000.

The last Peanuts strip to run in papers was on February 13, 2000, the day following Schulz's passing.

The strip began with Charlie Brown answering the phone with someone on the end presumably asking for Snoopy.

Charlie Brown was the only character to appear in both the first strip in 1950 and the last in 2000.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is the first prime-time animated TV special based upon the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was produced and directed by former Warner Bros. and UPA animator Bill Melendez, who also supplied the voice for the character of Snoopy.

Initially sponsored by Coca-Cola, the special debuted on CBS in 1965, and has been aired in the USA during the Christmas season every year since -- on CBS through 2000, and on ABC since 2001.

The story touches on the over-commercialization and secularism of Christmas, and serves to remind viewers of the true meaning of Christmas (the birth of Jesus Christ).

Today the animated Christmas special is shown at least twice during the weeks leading up to Christmas. The special has been honored with both an Emmy and Peabody Award.

Photos courtesy of
▲   Peanuts Official Web Site
▲   Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz Museum, History of Peanuts,
▲   Charlie Brown on Wikipedia

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