Did They Win An Oscar?

The Academy Awards will be given out on February 22nd. As we prepare for this year's ceremonies, think back to past awards. Does anyone really remember who won Oscars in years past? Today's Lunchtime Quiz at mental_floss tests your memory by asking you whether 15 stars ever won an Academy Award. I scored 60%, which is about how well I would've done if I had given the same answer for each of them. http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/22492

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I personally don't care who the people in Hollywood give such awards. In looking for movies, I evaluate plot, and then actors. I'll admit to having a few favourite actors but that doesn't necessarily mean I'll see movies in which they appear. I like Robert Duvall and Michael Caine and a few others. I do boycott some movies because they have certain actors in their casts. Sean Penn and Jane Fonda and Ashley Judd come to mind immediately because they choose to inflict their ignorance on the general populace by acting as pundits.

If actors stick with their trade, whatever opinions they hold are of no interest to me. It is when they become strident and demand respect simply because they are entertainers, I don't believe that gives them credentials in any other area of life. Hollywood veneration is out of line. I was under the impression that we got rid of nobility with our Constitution. I may be mistaken.

I am a scientist by trade and an historian as an amateur. I have perhaps read more and authored more on historical subjects in respected publications than some professors. I tend to stay with my discipline in the physical sciences and make no pronouncements on politics except to close friends. The opinion of an actor or producer in political areas has no more validity than mine.

Listening to profound pronouncements on NPR has persuaded me that NPR has a tenuous grasp of reality. A few days ago, I heard Scott Simon describe Lincoln as "the last casualty of the Civil War". Nobody has pointed out to him that the last surrender of a Confederate general officer happened some two months later after a series of battles in which casualties were suffered by both sides. A second error happened the same day when the financial advisor told a writer that he/she had paid for unemployment benefits. This is clearly untrue. Employers pay unemployment compensation insurance. So much for NPR "objectivity". I shan't be listening again.
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