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    https://store.epicgames.com/en-US/p/lawn-mowing-simulator-838bf3 Lawn Mowing Simulator is currently free on Epic Games Store. https://freebies.indiegala.com/dead-drop Dead Drop is currently free on IndieGala.
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    Fact of the Day - ELIZABETH TAYLOR Did you know.... Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor DBE was a British and American actress. She began her career as a child actress in the early 1940s and was one of the most popular stars of classical Hollywood cinema in the 1950s. She then became the world’s highest paid movie star in the 1960s, remaining a well-known public figure for the rest of her life. In 1999, the American Film Institute named her the seventh-greatest female screen legend of Classic Hollywood cinema. (Wikipedia) Timeless Elizabeth Taylor Facts by Interesting Facts Headline maker. Timeless beauty. Academy Award winner. Tireless activist. Savvy businesswoman. Global icon. These are only a few of the many phrases to describe Golden Age movie star Elizabeth Taylor Born in London in February 1932 to American parents, Taylor and her family packed up and moved to the United States in 1939, where the actress soon began her film career. Taylor made her big-screen debut with a small role in 1942’s There’s One Born Every Minute but gained popularity after scoring the lead role as a horse-crazed girl in 1944’s National Velvet. Throughout her illustrious career, Taylor starred in more than 50 movies, and was never afraid to take a chance in both her personal and professional lives. “I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I’m not afraid to look behind them,” she once said. Read below to learn how Taylor’s life was as epic as the roles she played. 1. Taylor Had “Violet” Eyes and a Double Set of Eyelashes In 1970, when Hollywood Reporter film critic Todd McCarthy first met Taylor, he was stopped in his tracks by “a pair of eyes unlike any I’ve ever beheld, before or since; deep violet eyes of a sort withheld from ordinary mortals.” However, while Taylor’s eyes are typically credited as violet, they were more likely a deep blue with an uncommon amount of melanin in the irises, which made them appear violet when she wore specific colors. This inspired her to often wear black eyeliner with blue, purple, or dark brown eyeshadow to bring out her trademark color. Framing those famous eyes were Taylor’s double row of eyelashes, known as distichiasis, the result of a mutation of FOXC2, a gene responsible for embryonic tissue development. While this heavy, second set of eyelashes can cause complications for some, they quickly became a notable part of Taylor’s beauty at a young age. When she was filming Lassie Come Home (1943) at the age of 9, Taylor was accused of wearing too much mascara, and when production members tried to clean it off, they realized the dark shade was her own eyelashes. As Taylor’s Lassie co-star Roddy McDowall remembered, “Who has double eyelashes except a girl who was absolutely born to be on the big screen?” 2. Taylor Was Married Eight Time The star famously said “I do” eight times to seven different men: Conrad “Nicky” Hilton, Michael Wilding, Michael Todd, Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton (twice), John Warner, and Larry Fortensky. While many of these marriages seemed out of a movie, it was her first wedding that was a direct part of a Hollywood production. In 1950, at the age of 18, Taylor — who had already been engaged twice before — wed hotel heir Hilton at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. Taylor wore a $3,500 gown gifted by MGM as part of a promotional effort for her film Father of the Bride, which premiered the following year. Designed by MGM’s chief costume designer Helen Rose, the high-collared, long-sleeved gown was covered with pearls and with a 15-foot train. MGM added more movie magic by selecting studio stock players as Taylor’s bridesmaids, and set designers decorated the church. In attendance were 700 guests including Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, and Fred Astaire, and waiting outside were 3,000 cheering fans. Lauded as the social event of the year, MGM boasted that at the wedding were “more stars than there are in heaven.” No matter the fairy-tale event, the tumultuous marriage lasted less than nine months. 3. Taylor Was the First Actress To Earn $1 Million Taylor was the first actress to earn more than $1 million for a single movie, for 1963’s Cleopatra. When the movie was first planned, her $1 million salary was half of the original budget. As the film’s budget boomed to $31 million, Taylor’s paycheck did as well — to $7 million (around $54 million in 2022). From her youth, Taylor had been a bold negotiator and wasn’t afraid to ask for what she was worth or to end a negotiation that wasn’t going her way. Originally, she had little interest in starring in Cleopatra, which inspired her bold pay request of $1 million and 10% of the box office gross, thinking there was no chance 20th Century Fox would agree to her terms. To everyone’s surprise, they did. As she would later say, “If someone is dumb enough to offer me a million dollars to make a picture, I’m certainly not dumb enough to turn it down.” 4. Taylor Popularized Celebrity Perfumes When Taylor’s debut fragrance, Passion, hit shelves in 1987, it was not the first celebrity fragrance — but it was the start of the first celebrity perfume franchise in a line ultimately made up of 16 perfumes. Her most popular scent, White Diamonds, generated more than $1.5 billion in the 25 years after it appeared on the market in 1991. With a $20 million marketing budget, White Diamonds was launched with a cross-country tour, lavish magazine ads, and a cinematic black-and-white commercial that aired both on television and in movie theaters. Featuring Taylor at a high-stakes poker game where she tosses one of her diamond earrings into the pot, the actress improvised the now-iconic line: “These have always brought me luck.” 5. Taylor’s a Dame One of the most legendary stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Taylor was nominated for four Academy Awards, won two — for Butterfield 8 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf — and ranks as the seventh-greatest female American screen legend by the American Film Institute. Her star power was felt across the pond in her native U.K. and in 2000, the actress was designated Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) by Queen Elizabeth II. Considering it one of the great honors of her life, Taylor humorously said of the event, "Well, I've always been a ‘broad.' Now it's a great honor to be a dame!" 6. Taylor’s Jewelry Collection Was Worth More Than $100 million Taylor loved jewelry and had a deep knowledge of the pieces in her collection. Despite W magazine naming her collection the third-most important in the world, as she once explained, "I’ve never thought of my jewelry as trophies. I’m here to take care of it and to love it, for we are only temporary custodians of beauty.” The icon died in March 2011, age 79, from congestive heart failure. Her famed jewels were auctioned by Christie’s that same year for $115.9 million and broke the record for the most valuable private collection of jewels sold, with 26 pieces selling for more than $1 million and six for more than $5 million. Many of the pieces were given to Taylor by her seven husbands. Among the record-breaking highlights was Taylor’s 19th-century tiara given to her by third husband, Mike Todd. The sparkling headpiece was worn several times in 1957 and became a cherished object to her after his fatal plane crash in 1958. Additionally, Taylor’s Cartier pearl necklace, named La Peregrina, sold for more than $11 million, setting the record for the most valuable pearl sold at auction at that time. Given to her as a Valentine’s Day gift by her most legendary love, Richard Burton, the 1-inch long natural pearl is one of the world’s most famous, once belonging to Spanish monarchs and appearing in portraits by Peter Paul Rubens and Diego Velázquez. Source: Wikipedia - Elizabeth Taylor | Facts About Elizabeth Taylor
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    What's the Word: ATARAXY pronunciation: [AD-ə-rak-see] Part of speech: noun Origin: Greek, 17th century Meaning: 1. A state of serene calmness. Example: "Many people achieve ataraxy through exercise and meditation." "Upon arriving home and petting my dog, I was filled with ataraxy." About Ataraxy “Ataraxy” is based on the Greek “ἀταραξία,” meaning “impassiveness” or “lack of disturbance.” It entered English from the French “ataraxie” in the early 1600s. Did You Know? “Ataraxy” is sometimes used as a synonym for “deep relaxation” or “serenity.” However, the idea was developed by Stoic philosophers in ancient Greece who used “ataraxy” to describe a state of emotional balance that resulted from living in harmony with nature. The Stoics also thought ataraxy could be achieved by abandoning passions in favor of reason. While today ataraxy might be associated with a pleasant evening at home, Stoics encouraged soldiers entering battle to cultivate ataraxy, since mental stillness would help protect them in combat.
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    Fact of the Day - INSPIRING LYRICS Did you know.... Theatre is a wild and wacky industry? Some will make you gasp, some will make you laugh, some you simply won't believe. (Ben Hewis | January 2019) Theatre folk are a superstitious breed! There are several well-known traditions still observed today, here are their origins… (History) The Stories Behind 9 Strange Theater Traditions by Interesting Facts Theater is filled with storied traditions, developed and preserved over its centuries-long history, which dates back to the playwright Aeschulys in 472 BCE. While some of these customs seem to be rooted in some degree of practicality, others have become outdated or simply never had any grounding in “reality” in the first place. But no matter if it's a local stage show or a major Broadway production — or if it's a comedy, musical, or drama — these long-held theater traditions and superstitions are still going strong. 1. Telling Performers to "Break a Leg" Ironically, wishing someone "good luck" in the theater is actually, well, bad luck. Instead, it's common practice to tell entertainers to "break a leg." That may seem like an odd way to wish them well before a show, but the tradition is rooted in superstition. Many believe that spirits, like ghosts and fairies, may inhabit theaters and be looking to cause trouble. If they hear "break a leg," they'll actually do the opposite, meaning good will come from the wish. But that's not the only explanation, according to Playbill. A different theory suggests that the "leg" in question is not a limb but a curtain that hangs in the wings, so "breaking" it means making it onto the stage. And yet another explanation dates back to Elizabethan England, when audiences used to throw money on the stage to show their appreciation, so when actors "broke" the line of their leg, they were actually bending down to collect their earnings. 2. Always Leaving a Ghost Light On If you ever find yourself in an otherwise empty theater in the middle of the night, you'll likely see a single bare bulb glowing onstage. All the intricate sets and props can make navigating a stage feel like winding through a maze, so it makes sense that a night light of sorts is left on when everything else goes dark. But the fact that the light is called a "ghost light" hearkens to a different explanation. "The superstition around it is that theaters tend to be inhabited by ghosts, whether it's the ghost of old actors or people who used to work in the building," stage manager Matt Stern, who has worked on Broadway in shows including Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera, told Atlas Obscura. "[G]host lights are supposed to keep those ghosts away so that they don't get mischievous while everyone else is gone." Other explanations relate to the historical need to relieve pressure on gas valves in old theaters, or legend of a thief falling in the dark, breaking his leg (literally this time!), and suing the theater. 3. Never Saying "Macbeth Shakespeare's shortest tragedy is the Voldemort of the theater world. Many people believe the play is cursed, since so many mishaps have happened in its 400-year history. Legend has it that for the very first performance circa 1606, William Shakespeare himself had to go on as Lady Macbeth because the actor playing the role suddenly died, according to History.com. Another actor was supposedly killed onstage in Amsterdam in the 17th century, when a prop dagger was replaced by a real one. Riots have also plagued the play at times, with the most tragic being a New York production in 1849 when 22 died and more than 100 were injured. As even a mere mention of the title may bring similar disasters, the play that shall not be named is often referred to as "The Scottish Play" or "The Bard's Play" instead. Of course, not everyone believes in the so-called curse — after all, a play that has been performed regularly for so many centuries is bound to suffer some misfortune. For those who do buy into it, though, there are ways to reverse the bad luck: According to the Royal Shakespeare Company, you have to leave the theater, spin in a circle three times, spit, curse, and then knock to be let back in. 4. Hoping for a Bad Dress Rehearsa You might think that the final rehearsal before opening night, when everyone onstage is dressed as if it's a real performance, should be when everything goes off without a hitch. But thespians believe the opposite: "Bad dress, good opening." Although the exact origins of the superstition are unknown, according to Backstage, performers swear by the phrase. It makes sense, in a way: The odds of things going spectacularly wrong two nights in a row are slim, especially if a cast and crew have time to address and prepare for those contingencies between a rehearsal and the performance. And if things are going to go wrong, it's better that they go wrong without an audience. 5. Not Whistling Backstage As far back as the 17th century, before stage managers became standard, productions had people called prompters, whose job it was to make sure everything flowed smoothly during the course of the show, Playbill explains. In the days before electricity, these prompters needed a way to indicate to folks backstage that a scene was changing, so they would use a bell or whistle. To avoid confusion, everyone else was strictly prohibited from whistling, lest they trigger an unintended (and potentially dangerous) set transition. When electricity came along, flashing lights and intercoms took over. Yet the tradition remains — this is one occupation where you shouldn't whistle while you work. 6. Avoiding Wearing Blue As Broadway Direct explains, blue dye used to be among the most expensive, so producers claimed it was bad luck in an effort to keep costs down. But that deception led to another, Playbill adds: Some theatrical troupes would splurge on blue costumes to make it seem like they were doing better than they were. To one-up them, troupes that were actually doing well added silver, which was even more difficult to afford. Thus, unadorned blue ensembles became a symbol of false success. 7. Banning Peacock Feathers and Mirrors From the Stag Any good prop master knows to keep peacock feathers far away from the stage. The natural design of the feathers contains an "evil eye" pattern that is thought to bring bad luck in the form of technical failures and chaos, History UK explains. The eye's curse (which is not unique to the theater) can be traced back to Plato and even the Bible, while the fear of the feathers themselves has existed since at least 1242, when they were linked to Mongols who advanced into Europe. Another item to avoid? Mirrors. While it's a widely believed superstition that breaking a mirror causes seven years of bad luck, even unbroken mirrors should be kept offstage in the theater, since they can mess with the lighting design. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule — most notably in the staging of "The Music and the Mirror" from A Chorus Line. 8. Giving Flowers After a Show, Never Before First do the work, then receive the appreciation. It makes sense to present flowers to performers after they've graced the stage, but according to Playbill, this tradition is about more than just rewarding someone for a job well done. Superstition dictates that it's actually bad luck to give flowers before the show, for fear that something will go wrong to make the performance unworthy of beautiful blooms. Another (now less-common) floral tradition was to give the director and leading lady a bouquet stolen from a graveyard when a show closed, representing the death of the production. 9. Sing "Happy Trails to You" at the End of a Run Whether it's the end of a particular actor's run or the entire close of a show, it's tradition for the cast and crew to gather to sing Roy Rogers and Dale Evans' 1950s tune "Happy Trails." While the origins of the tradition are unknown, according to the Lincoln Center Theater, it endures today as a way to bid a fond adieu and wish your castmates well: "Happy trails to you / Until we meet again / Happy trails to you / Keep smiling until then." Source: Facts About Theatre That You Won't Believe are True | Facts About Theatre Traditions Explained | THEATRICAL TRADITIONS AND WHERE THEY COME FROM
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    What's the Word: CARAPACE pronunciation: [KER-ə-pays] Part of speech: noun Origin: French, 19th century Meaning: 1. The hard upper shell of a tortoise, crustacean, or arachnid. 2. Something regarded as a protective or defensive covering. Example: "The trickiest part of eating a lobster is removing the meat from the carapace." "Humor can serve as a carapace to protect someone from their more complex and private emotions." About Carapace “Carapace” comes directly to English from the French “carapace,” as well as the Spanish “carapacho,” which refers to the shell covering the back of a turtle. Did You Know? While “carapace” originally referred to tough outer shells on certain animals and insects, it also has a more modern symbolic use. As a metaphor, “carapace” describes some means of defense. For example, actor Hugh Jackman plays the character Wolverine with a carapace of aggressive hostility, but he has a soft spot for helping underdogs, and Jackman himself is known for his well-mannered gentleness.
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