Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Apollo 8: 40 Years Ago"

"Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you...all of you on the good earth."

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap081224.html

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Another Passing Of Note"

As there were Famous Monster reunions in the afterlife recently, there must have been an epic Star Trek reunion as well. Majel Barrett-Roddenberry passed this month. Baby-boomers are losing all their mentors and touchstones, as the world loses people who have inspired others so positively with their lives and vocations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majel_Barrett
http://www.johnshoffner.com/star-trek-autographs.html

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"R.I.P. Mr. Ackerman"

"I felt that the primary authors of science fiction were opening my eyes ... to a better and more fascinating world," says Forrest J Ackerman of the genre he has championed.

Thank you Forry for all of the fun that you gave to us in our lives.

http://www.sfwa.org/news/2008/fackerman.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrest_J_Ackerman

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Grampa Al's Restaurant"

This week as I was going through some boxes of memorabilia, I came across an ad I had saved for Al Lewis' restaurant in NYC. Back in 1987, Grampa Al of "The Munsters" fame, opened an nice Italian restaurant in the Village. I got to go there once. I remember it being unusually pink inside. And we had a waiter who looked like a younger version of Mikhail Baryshnikov. The food was good. We didn't get to see Grampa, but the ambiance was nice and relaxed. The above photo of the window from outside is nicked from the Interweb, and the ad I cut out of The Aquarian Weekly newspaper is below. Many thanks to my friend who took me there. Only in New York! :-)

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Anne Rice's New Book And Life"

Many periodicals pull Anne Rice out of their resource files for Halloween because of the horror/vampire genre that she is known best for, but this Halloween there is current literary news to report on her: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081030/ap_en_ot/books_anne_rice

Rice has written a book about her return to her Catholic beliefs, that many of her fans are curious about since she has moved on from writing vampire books to stories about the life of Jesus. Her first two books on this subject, "Out of Egypt" and "The Road To Cana" (the series is entitled "Christ The Lord"), are now accompanied by her latest release covering her life and return to her faith. The two "Christ The Lord" books resulted from her extensive study of Biblical and secular history during and after the re-igniting of her faith. This book seems to be about that search, as well as how she fell away from her faith in the first place. As a fellow child of the 1950s/60s, I can relate.

I haven't read the "Christ The Lord" books yet, as I am a cheap-skate and almost always wait until books like that (non-art books) are printed in paperback, but I plan to soon. I may not wait for the paperback version to read her spiritual biography though, as I'm very curious and anxious to read about her personal journey -- I have a feeling that there are many similarities between hers and mine. More can be learned at her website: http://www.annerice.com/

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Dr. Atomic Opera Live At The Movies"

Coming to a theater near you, "The Met Live In HD"! The next Met opera to play at some theaters in the new genre of taking opera to the masses, is "Dr. Atomic" (about the development of the atomic bomb) on Nov 8, which I am totally going to see. I have never heard of it before, but since I'm fascinated by the topic of early atomic science, I'm looking forward to trying it out. I'm always up for expanding my horizons with the operatic experience. The admission is pretty steep for these Live Met shows (last year was $18.00), so let's hope that it doesn't disappoint. It's close enough to my birthday that I'll make a little mini-celebration out of it for me, myself, and I. Maybe sneak some chocolate cake in with me for a snack! :-)

The official website of the production is very impressive, and they have done extensive research to make the experience authentic to history, and gone to great lengths it appears to get the atomic props and material exactly correct. For those interested in the backstage details, there are many categories to browse including sets, costumes, information on the libreto, and historical links on the official website.

Here's the production's site: http://www.doctor-atomic.com/
To find a theater near you: http://www.fathomevents.com/

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Soon Gone, But Never Forgotten"

There must be lots of crying in New York, because tonight is the last game to be played in the old Yankee Stadium. I was lucky to get to see a couple Yankee games while I lived in NY. My own first stadium experience was right out of a Ken Burns PBS documentary. A coworker in my lab had extra tickets, and I won the lottery after all the guys that he asked first couldn't go. Sometimes a gal gets lucky that way. After we went through the less-than-memorable ticket area getting searched, we headed for the nosebleed section. But first Jim said that we had to go into the stadium through a tunnel in the lower deck, since it was my first time there. As we walked through the tunnel at almost ground level, the shiny yellow sunlight poured through the other end. Outside the hole, unveiled as we walked to the opening, my eyes were saturated with the bright green, orange, and turquoise, of the checker-mowed grass, pristine dirt, and clear sky. You could almost hear the angel chorale singing a heavenly falsetto, "Awhhhhhhhhhh!" as we breached the tunnel into the sunshine. It was an amazing sight -- a historic small piece of land framed by the stadium seats and what was left of the Yankee picket fence along the top -- you could almost see the ghosts of Yankees players and fans long gone. I was very grateful to Jim for taking the effort to color my first pro-game with that kind of philosophical experience. The second game I saw at the Stadium was on an IBM Club trip. It was an Old-Timers' game on a sweltering day in July. I got to see all the old guys in miniature out on the field, and I have the famous ant-sized figures on film for posterity. That was a great day too. Good-bye Yankee Stadium. :-(





Saturday, August 30, 2008

"A Little Inspiration"

video

"A man's reach must exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Browning

Youtube vid by Akureifur.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"One World, One Dream, For Everyone"

This was a very touching moment during the 2008 Olympics opening ceremony, particularly because of the significance of the little boy who it's said had helped save someone from the rubble after the earthquake. Let's hope and pray that China might also find the benefits in demonstrating how it can allow Tibet to live in peace, truly autonomously...because there are innocent children there too.

http://www.freetibet.org/

http://www.freetibet.net/

http://www.studentsforafreetibet.org/

Saturday, August 9, 2008

"Waters Of Babylon"

video

Scene from A&E's Mad Men episode.

"Psalm 137 is one of the best known of the Biblical psalms. Its opening lines, 'By the rivers of Babylon...' (Septuagint: 'By the waters of Babylon...') have been set to music on several occasions...by many composers. The first verse was also used for Don Mclean's song 'Babylon'." Mclean's version is played in the above video.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psalm_137



http://www.ifcj.org/

"Fishnets For Vigoda"

Posted for Wayne's interweb project.