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Showing posts from September, 2011

Irony. Oh, Sweet Irony

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I believe that irony can best be exemplified by one seeing a banner ad for Bank of America on the Anon News website.


Irony. Oh, sweet irony.

Good night, everyone.

Reflecting on 8 Years with Detroit Synergy

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It all started back in 2003, for me.

At the time, I was working on a feature-length documentary entitled Checking In: The Story of the Book-Cadillac Hotel, which focused on the historic Book-Cadillac Hotel in downtown Detroit. The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, which was the quasi-governmental agency that was working on redeveloping the hotel, wouldn't talk to me on camera about the project so I turned to some of the historic preservation groups, who were all too happy to talk about the hotel.
Back then, I had already decided that I was going to leave Detroit permanently as soon as this project was done. Regardless, during that time, I met Francis Grunow. He invited me to attend a meeting of this new group called Detroit Synergy. I was hooked after that first meeting. I met so many people who had such energy, enthusiasm, and determination to get things done.
I got involved in organizing a pub crawl where I met a man who often seems more like a force of nature than a human be…

On Retiring the Space Shuttle

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NASA brought the Space Shuttle program to an end this July after more than 30 years of service to the nation and to cause of space exploration. Since I continue to hear the occasional complaint from one person or another about why NASA brought this program to an end, I thought I would write this post so I easily link to it later when I might need it.
The Space Shuttle was a terrific vehicle for taking us into Earth's orbit. It enabled us to launch and repair satellites and to build the International Space Station. Those were fantastic missions, but they're done. It's time for NASA to move onto the next level of exploring space. Unfortunately, the Space Shuttle simply isn't the right vehicle for our next steps in space exploration.
As an example, former Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, as well as President Barack Obama, all endorsed the long-term goal of a manned mission to Mars during each of the respective tenures in the White House. It…

Life is Too Short

I believe that life is too short to deal with ugly strippers. Of course, I also believe that life is too short for booze to go wasted, for watching reality television, to believe in honest politicians, or to listen to almost anything from Britney Spears.
For more wisdom, please check out my latest book, Zen and the Art of Drunken Debauchery.

Ron Paul for President

I've been listening to Congressman Ron Paul talk about his campaign for the White House, what he would do if elected, and why we should do such a thing. While I admit that he is consistent and candid in his views, I also have to admit that I've come to the conclusion that there are basically two types of people who support his candidacy.
Those who don't know much about Ron Paul; andThose who don't know much about history. For example, he argued that the mortgage crisis came about because we had too much government regulation. That's simply nuts.
The fact of the matter is that we as a nation repealed a multitude of regulations that we designed to prevent such a thing from happening. If we hadn't done so, we still would've had a recession but it wouldn't have reached the levels that it is now nor would the mortgage crisis have ever reached the levels that it has.
Thomas Hobbes remarked more than four hundred years ago that, in its most natural state, the l…

Use of Pepper Spray at Occupy Wall Street Protests

NYPD Patrol Guide 212-95 lists five situations in which an officer in the New York City Police Department may use pepper spray. Pepper spray may be used when a police officer “reasonably believes” that it is necessary to:

Protect himself, or another from unlawful use of force (e.g., assault);Effect an arrest, or establish physical control of a subject resisting arrest;Establish physical control of a subject attempting to flee from arrest or custody;Establish physical control of an emotionally disturbed person; andControl a dangerous animal by deterring an attack, to prevent injury to persons or animals present. Quite frankly, I would like to know which one of those five instances existed in the videos below, all of which show NYPD officers using pepper spray on unarmed protesters.



Or in this slightly longer view, from a different angle.



Or in this video that shows both videos simultaneously

What is Wrong with Occupy Wall Street?

Occupy Wall Street is now in its tenth day. It is, by all accounts, larger than most of the events that the Tea Party has organized over the past two years. However, as I look through my local newspaper, listen to my local radio, and watch my local television, I see hundreds of different stories - but not a single word in any of them about Occupy Wall Street.
Not a single one.

The Tea Party, in contrast, has done smaller events that didn't even last a full day. However, they got lots of coverage from the news media. They were, in fact, the lead story on most days.
The news media covered President Barack Obama's efforts to get support for his jobs bill. That made page eight of my local newspaper.
If the peaceful protesters in New York carried guns, maybe then the news media would cover the story.
If the peaceful protesters in New York carried signs with racist or homophobic language, instead of simply saying "Wall Street Is Our Street", maybe then the news media would…

Stephen Colbert Tells A Detroit Joke

Let me get this straight: for the past 1 1/2 years, Mayor Dave Bing has been talking to every media outlet on the planet about how much population Detroit has lost and how much empty space we have. He's told this story to everyone from The New York Times to The Irish Times to Time magazine and a few hundred others.
Now Stephen Colbert makes a joke about the same thing on his show and some folks are up in arms? Please, people. Pull it together.

Frictionless Experience???

Mark Zuckerberg referred to the Ticker as being part of "frictionless experience" on Facebook during the F8 Conference.

Really?!?

That's like referring to the Pacific Ocean as a "waterless experience."

Phelps Defined

If anyone asks, the word phelps means "the act of farting during anal sex."

Thank you, Philip DeFranco.

New Girl Reaches a New Low

New Girl premiered on Fox this evening. Like most new shows, it had some good moments and some bad ones. Unlike most new shows, the ratio between the two was hardly in its favor.
The good news is that this show opened with an implied nudity scene of Zoe Deschenel. One can never really go wrong with that.
The bad news is that everything that followed was badly written, badly acted, and looked like it was put together by a 5 year old with Tourette's syndrome. Not even the nudity of Zoe Deschenel can redeem this show.
I stopped watching after the first 16 minutes. It was simply too painful to continue. My only question now is: who can I see to get those 15 minutes (you know, the ones after Zoe Deschenel's nude scene) back?

Keira Knightley Is Coco Mademoiselle

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I finally got to see the new commercials for Chanel Coco Mademoiselle that feature Keira Knightley in them.

I was expected a lot from them since they were, after all, featuring Keira Knightley. However, it was simply amazing. The commercial was even better than the television show that it appeared in - and I liked the show a lot.
If they gave out Academy Awards for commercials, this would be the hands down favorite to win it all.

My Thoughts on the Fall Premieres for Monday

Today was a good day for television.
The season premiere of How I Met Your Mother was on CBS and it was legend - wait for it -ary. It was well written with the same top-notch acting that I've always expected. To top it off, the second episode of HIMYM was just as good as the first one.
I have to admit that I was irritated with the Two and A Half Men commercial that CBS kept showing during HIMYM. I was pretty much tired of that show, even before it started. Of course, once Two and A Half Men did start, I almost forgot how annoying that commercial was.
Almost.
I liked Two and A Half Men, I really did. I wasn't totally sold on how they wrote Charlie Harper's death. Regardless, I enjoyed seeing all of those cameos so much that I'm sold on the idea of Ashton Kutcher taking over Charlie Sheen's role. I look forward to the next episode.
Of course, the true hit of the evening was 2 Broke Girls. I had no intention of watching the show at all when I sat down on my couch. If …

Daily Show Wins Again

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart won the Emmy for Best Comedy/Variety Show for the ninth year in row last night. This was on top of their win for best writing in a comedy show.
I love The Daily Show. However, with them winning an Emmy for nine years in a row, I'm starting to think that it might be time to retire the category.

Keira Knightley Makes Me Talk Like a Pirate

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Avast, me mateys! International Talk Like a Pirate Day has begun, at least on the East Coast and in most of the Midwest.
My friends on the West Coast still have to wait a couple more hours for this magnificent event to start. (Arr... I do feel sorry for them, even if they do get to make it last a little later.)
I will celebrate this occasion by watching Keira Knightley in all three of her Pirates of the Caribbean performances.

Things Rick Perry Should Already Know

I would like to remind Governor Rick Perry of Texas that states already have the ability to opt out of Social Security. They've had that option since Social Security was enacted in way back in 1935. As one of the longest serving governors in this nation, one who has spent more than 20 years in statewide elected office, he should know that already.
Moreover, if Governor Perry believes that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme," as he argued recently, then I must ask why hasn't he protected Texans by opting out of it already?