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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

David McClure Brinkley FBI Files

Finally, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been fulfilled. Sadly, it has nothing that I was looking for regarding the Time Bomber book project. Nonetheless, there is interesting stuff in here.  Like an extortion attempt on Brinkley in 1960, as well as a 1940s story on draft dodgers.

Seems like there were quite a few folks asking the FBI if Brinkley was a Communist too.



Ⓐ Steve Ⓐ

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy 2014 Review

Guardians of the Galaxy

Plenty of good reviews out there of this great movie, so I am not going to cover the usual stuff everybody else covered. Also, Adam Carolla did a fantastic interview with director James Gunn about this film.  I wholeheartedly endorse the flick and encourage all to see it. However, I am not and never have been a comic book aficionado; the closest I have come is reading some classic Batman (I know he was DC, not Marvel). I do enjoy the Marvel movies and cartoons and have since I was a kid.

While I prefer 3D IMAX, my wife hates 3D, so we saw Guardians in “regular.”

Some extra cool stuff and I think this is chronological. “Come and Get Your Love,” by Redbone appears in an early scene, played on Peter Quill’s vintage cassette Walkman. I can never get enough of that tune and it brought a smile to my face when I heard it. The Regal Theater at West Town Mall has a fantastic sound system and it provided the best play of the songs in this movie that I have ever heard.  Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 is now the first album of all previously released songs to top Billboard's Top 200.

There were probably many hat-tips to other films in this show, but these are what I caught:

An “E.T.” moment between Drax the Destroyer and Rocket. Remember the fingertip light touch that was on many of the “E.T.” posters? Drax and the raccoon do an approximation of that in the destruction of Knowhere sequence (I think, or it could have been the destruction of somewhere else sequence too).


The song “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways appears and immediately reminded me of the George Lucas film “Howard the Duck,” because Beverly Switzler’s (Lea Thompson) New-Wave band in that movie was named Cherry Bomb. Howard the Duck appears at the end in Knowhere, talking to The Collector.


Back in the 1990s when I was finally finishing college, members of the University of Tennessee Theater Department dubbed me "The Guy Who Liked Howard The Duck," because I was the first person any of them met who actually liked the film.

In the full credits, which by-the-way should be posted somewhere in the Marvel websites but I have yet to find, there was a credit for an “Exposito.” A common misspelling and mispronunciation for my name. Thought it nifty that the name exists in that form out there for real.

As much as I enjoy movies at Regal Theaters, the pre-movie crap has finally gotten too long for my taste. Minor glitch one was the 2D and 3D start times were incorrect under their respective posters at the theater entrance. Second, the start time was supposed to be 7:40 PM. The movie did not start until 8:10 PM, and included one preview of some football movie twice.  Maybe they can get that shaved back to 20 minutes or less.

Ⓐ Steve Ⓐ

Saturday, June 21, 2014

That is not Politic?

On this week's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Sarah Jessica Parker uses the phrase "that's not politic." I guess I don't get out enough in wealthy leftoid circles to know that "politically correct" has been reduced to one word, and that is the context that she used it.

It was on the tail of her gem that there used to be signs in NYC that said "No Irish, No Entertainers, No Jews, No ..." Which is another new one on me. Her rendition of the "No Irish, No Negroes, Need Apply/Served Here/etc." now includes "entertainers."

While looking for a reference to, well anything that could be called research, related to this "No" sign, I found this interesting paper by Richard J. Jensen from 12/12/2004:
"No Irish Need Apply":
A Myth of Victimization
Abstract
(the whole article at the link)

Irish Catholics in America have a vibrant memory of humiliating job discrimination, which featured omnipresent signs proclaiming "Help Wanted--No Irish Need Apply!" No one has ever seen one of these NINA signs because they were extremely rare or nonexistent. The market for female household workers occasionally specified religion or nationality. Newspaper ads for women sometimes did include NINA, but Irish women nevertheless dominated the market for domestics because they provided a reliable supply of an essential service. Newspaper ads for men with NINA were exceedingly rare. The slogan was commonplace in upper class London by 1820; in 1862 in London there was a song, "No Irish Need Apply," purportedly by a maid looking for work. The song reached America and was modified to depict a man recently arrived in America who sees a NINA ad and confronts and beats up the culprit. The song was an immediate hit, and is the source of the myth. Evidence from the job market shows no significant discrimination against the Irish--on the contrary, employers eagerly sought them out. Some Americans feared the Irish because of their religion, their use of violence, and their threat to democratic elections. By the Civil War these fears had subsided and there were no efforts to exclude Irish immigrants. The Irish worked in gangs in job sites they could control by force. The NINA slogan told them they had to stick together against the Protestant Enemy, in terms of jobs and politics. The NINA myth justified physical assaults, and persisted because it aided ethnic solidarity. After 1940 the solidarity faded away, yet NINA remained as a powerful memory.
And now, an actress wishes to add entertainers to the myth.

Ⓐ Steve Ⓐ

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Barney Miller "The Radical" S5E11 Full Episode


Includes a scene missing from the TV Land version
Ⓐ Steve Ⓐ

Shades of the Massachusetts' State Fire Marshall

Back in the early part of the last century, Massachusetts' State Fire Marshall forced rocketry pioneer Robert Goddard to move his test facility to a military base, because he did not like Goddard's experiments conducted on private property.

Now we have the Brownsville, TX SpaceX Spaceport getting a much heavier hand of bureaucratic nonsense: (via Slashdot)
"It turns out that the recent FAA environmental impact statement that seemed to give a stamp of approval for the proposed SpaceX space port in south Texas is not the end of the regulatory process, but the end of the beginning. A story in the Brownsville Herald reminds us that the report has kicked off a 30 day review period after which the FAA can allow SpaceX to apply for a launch license to start work on the Brownsville area launch facility. And that in turn kicks off a 180 day process during which the FAA makes the decision whether or not to grant the required licensing and permits. 
But even that is not the end of the regulatory hurdles that SpaceX must face before the first Falcon rocket roars into the skies over the Gulf of Mexico. The Longview News-Journal reports that a number of state and federal agencies must give their approval for various aspects of the space port before it becomes operational. For instance, the Texas Department of Transportation must give approval for the movement of utility lines. Environment Texas still opposes the space port since it is close to a wild life reserve and a state park. SpaceX has already agreed to enact measures to minimize the impact the space port would have on the environment, 'such as containing waste materials from the construction and enforcing a speed limit in the control center area.' Environment Texas is not impressed, however. Whether it is disposed to make trouble in the courts is an open question."
And a hat tip to Glenn Reynolds:
JUNE 8, 2014

SPACE: Senate’s NASA budget bill may hamper commercial spacecraft makers. Which is not an accident.
So to revisit, here’s our current space strategy: Step one: Rely on Russian rockets. Step two: Put in place sanctions that get Russian rockets cut off, forcing reliance on American commercial launchers. Step three: Put the squeeze on American commercial launchers.
Ⓐ Steve Ⓐ

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Food Deserts: Market Square Suffers as Western Heights Recovers

Video link
Examining the changes between the 2011 and 2013 Knoxville, TN Food Desert maps. The neighborhoods with public housing projects and no supermarkets have "recovered" faster than the yuppieville downtown and market square areas.

In the video, the viewer is taken on a driving tour of Beaumont, Western Heights, Mechanicsville, and other areas that were on the 2011 food desert map, but disappeared when the Knoxville Knox-County Food Policy Council published the 2013 map in September of that year.

However, downtown areas like Market Square, the Old City, and Gay Street are shown on the 2013 map as food deserts.  Note: Both the 2011 and 2013 maps are presented as "the 20 food deserts."  Apparently neither of the researchers used the map function to show more levels of "food deserts."  When one does that, almost all of the city and county are painted as food deserts of some level.

If food deserts actually exist, why can't both the USDA and the local bureaucrats make an accurate map of them? They get paid serious money to put out garbage like this!  The White House and Congress are throwing serious money at this "problem" too, but how do they decide to throw it if expensive condo nesters are displayed as being in more distress than people in housing projects?

Oddly, the green marked food deserts are exactly where Kroger or Aldi would love to locate. The areas that were wiped away from the map might not be as attractive to them, even with $400 million in incentives.  Maybe that is not odd at all.

Ⓐ Steve Ⓐ

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Knoxville MPC Brings Walmart and Publix to Sorority Village Food Desert!

Thanks to the good concerned citizens at KnoxFood.Org, the people of Knoxville have been alerted to the food desert problem in Knoxville.  Not only is KnoxFood.Org incredibly modest about their past successes, like eliminating the food deserts near Lonsdale and other locations, but they are modest about their current success of bringing Walmart and Publix stores to the University Commons Sorority Village food desert.

Here, see for yourself:
KnoxFood.Org map of Knox County's 20 Food Deserts
See the informative video:

 This is what the developer says it will look like later this year (use this link if embedded version below is not visible). Do they deserve a medal for bringing food to a food desert where nobody used to live before the sorority houses were built?  Actually, this tract encompases the long standing fraternity houses too, as well as university dorms, and apartments rented mostly by students.
video
You might not know who KnoxFood.Org (Knoxville Food Policy Council) is, since their web site has the flavor of an independent community action group.  In reality, they are the local Metropolitan Planning Commission with members appointed by both the county mayor and the city mayor.  They are so modest, they do not even appear on the MPC About page!  All of the WhoIs contacts for their website have KnoxMPC.Org email addresses.

Ⓐ Steve Ⓐ