Friday, December 14, 2012

After successful initial testing of the vehicle concept, the decision for a series-production vehicle was quickly made. The BMW i8 Concept is the next step in the evolution of the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept. The result: The most progressive and innovative sports car of its time. Its innovative plug-in hybrid concept combines the modified electric drive system from the BMW i3 Concept – fitted over its front axle – with a high-performance three-cylinder combustion engine producing 164 kW/220 hp and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) at the rear. Working in tandem, they allow the two drive systems to display their respective talents to the full, delivering the performance of a sports car but the fuel consumption of a small car.,r:51,s:0,i:250

the Urban SUV Concept

Up until a few months ago, Honda was accused by many of being lethargic with the release of their products in terms of its competitors and of course the lack of a diesel option. Now, Honda has already launched their diesel based hatch and sedan; the Honda Brio and Amaze. Now to the question of new products; Honda has recently released a teaser image of their latest offering; the Urban SUV Concept. The image is not very clear on th details of the vehicle but with a little educated guessing we figured this to be the long promised Honda Jazz based SUV. The Urban SUV concept will be first showcased in the upcoming Detroit Motor Show to be held in January.

Monday, December 03, 2012


Chinatrust Bank has agreed to move its U.S. headquarters from Torrance to downtown Los Angeles.

The bank will rent two floors in 801 Tower, a company representative said. The high-rise is in the financial district north of Staples Center.

“We wanted to be in a major financial area,” said Brian Gregson, head of Chinatrust U.S.A.’s retail banking group. “This is the early stage of getting our ducks in a row to start some expansion.”

The bank’s name will be affixed on top of the 25-story tower at 801 S. Figueroa St., he said.

Taiwan-based Chinatrust has 12 branches in the United States, seven of which are in Southern California. The bank will move about 175 employees to the new headquarters by the middle of next year, Gregson said.,0,5588987.story

Monday, November 05, 2012

Mary Pickford Rediscovered

Mary Pickford Rediscovered book cover
Mary Pickford was Hollywood's first superstar and one of the founders of the Academy. In this lavish 256-page tribute, her enormous and wide-ranging body of work is illustrated with fabulous film stills, rare production shots, and personal photographs – most never before published – from the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library.

Today's audiences – even the Hollywood film industry which she helped create – have little knowledge of Pickford's films, let alone of her enormous behind-the-scenes power as one of the art form's pioneering producers and cofounder of United Artists. This first illustrated filmography of Pickford's career accords her achievements the recognition they deserve. Noted film historian Kevin Brownlow (The Parade's Gone By...and Behind the Mask of Innocence) draws on interviews with Pickford and her circle to provide entertaining film-by-film commentaries full of wonderful anecdotes about the silent era.

Musee d’Orsay

At Musee d’Orsay, I’ve gained a new perspective of impressionistic paintings. Impressionistic paintings are not exactly impressive, but they are definitely unique and mark the beginning of a new era in art. Unlike conventional artworks, impressionistic paintings do not emphasize on the outlines of the subject matter, the emphasis is placed on colors instead. Most figures do not have defining lines, but stand out from one another due to color contrasts and the techniques of application of paint. Impressionists do not look into details, but they have a play with brushstrokes and paint. Although it seems like much less effort is taken to complete an impressionistic painting, it is remarkable how impressionism successfully achieved what photography could not.

"creating a park-like atmosphere that is communal"

The developers of a proposed $31-million hotel near Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles are ready to seek city approval to construct an indoor-outdoor complex in the brick shell of a condemned apartment building.
Plans call for gutting the empty three-story building at 1130 S. Hope St. that was erected more than a century ago and is no longer structurally sound. The developers would build inside the perimeter of the old exterior walls, creating a landscaped open-air courtyard leading to a new tower with 44 guest rooms.

A separate glassed-in structure for an artist in residence would also be built on the Hope Street side. On top of the ninth floor of the tower would be a swimming pool — and three suites that would hover on stalks above the pool. Like the courtyard, the roof would be landscaped with trees and plants.

“It’s about creating a park-like atmosphere that is communal,” said Sam Marshall, who is designing the plans for the yet-unnamed hotel. Marshall is part of a development partnership, led by former Manhattan Beach insurance salesman Kevin Burke, that bought the property last year for $2.1 million.

Rendering of a proposed boutique hotel at 1130 S. Hope St. in Los Angeles. The tall building at left is an existing condominium tower. (Sam Marshall / November 2, 2012),0,5291241.story 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The JFK Library

The JFK Library, which opened in 1979 in an I.M. Pei–designed building, is dedicated to the study of the 35th president's life and work, and houses his presidential papers and a museum. Start with a film chronicling JFK's life until the 1960 campaign season, then work your way through exhibits of campaign memorabilia (signs, buttons, and TV ads); video of the Kennedy–Nixon debates; correspondence between family members; and photos of the Kennedys at Hyannisport. It's great for history buffs, but be aware that getting there without a car is a bit of a schlep (on the T's Red Line, then a free shuttle bus); leave about 30 minutes each way. The museum, ringed by a pleasant harborside walking trail, is located adjacent to the University of Massachusetts Boston campus and steps away from the Commonwealth Museum of Massachusetts history, where you'll find original royal charters, John Adams's Massachusetts state constitution, and the copper plates from which Paul Revere engraved his famous etching of the Boston Massacre (220 Morrissey Blvd.; 617-727-9268).—updated by Jon Marcus

Open daily 9 am to 5 pm.,r:1,s:0,i:74

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"All in the Family" explored racism, homosexuality, women's liberation, menopause, impotence, the Vietnam War and the loss of faith.

The series was brilliant, daring, funny and poignant. Over the seasons, "All in the Family" explored racism, homosexuality, women's liberation, menopause, impotence, the Vietnam War and the loss of faith. It was the No. 1 series for five years, won 22 Emmys including four for comedy series, and boasted several spinoffs: "Maude," "The Jeffersons," "Archie Bunker's Place" and "704 Hauser." ("All in the Family" was also the first sitcom for Tandem Productions founded in 1958 by Lear and Bud Yorkin.),0,5875033.story&docid=BVOKdgbjsho63M&imgurl=,i:75

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lacrosse stars honored

US Lacrosse recently announced its boys’ US Lacrosse High School All-American and All-Academic teams. Mira Costa attacker Dakota Randall was named as an All-American while his teammate, midfielder Christopher O’Brien was selected to the All-Academic team.

According to US Lacrosse, an All-American is a player who exhibits superior skills and techniques and possesses exceptional game sense and knowledge. He is one of the best players in the United States, while also embodying excellent sportsmanship.

How about some Beach Tennis ??

Beach Tennis: The world’s top ranked beach tennis players will be competing in the Subaru Hermosa Beach Open International Beach Tennis Championships Saturday, Oct. 27 at the Hermosa Beach Pier. Action begins at 9 a.m. and is followed by an after party at 9:30 p.m. Beach Tennis, an internationally recognized professional sport governed by the International Tennis Federation, has grown faster than any beach sport in the world over the past few years. The sport, which started in Italy over 30 years ago, is now played in over 70 countries. The popularity in newer markets (such as the United States, South America, Russia and Bulgaria) is fueling its momentum for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics.

It's the Volleyball Hall of Fame for Mike Dodd

Olympic silver medalist Mike Dodd was among the latest inductees to the Volleyball Hall of Fame. The Manhattan Beach native won 75 titles during his career as a professional beach volleyball player.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

World's Smallest Nation

In 1967, Paddy Roy Bates commandeered a World War II-era British defense platform located six miles off the eastern coast of England. Since it was in international waters, he declared it the PRINCIPALITY OF SEALAND, an independent nation. While no other country has recognized this claim, Bates and his family have ruled their platform for over 40 years.  Paddy Roy Bates passed away recently.  He was 91 years old.,r:11,s:100,i:42 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Only time will tell . . .

The differences are subtle. The time in the make-up chair is stated to be about 2 1/2 to 3 hours so this isn’t exactly a Hellboy-like transformation but then it’s not supposed to be. I guess the biggest differences are eye color, nose shape, and lower lip. I suppose the idea is that Joe is supposed to pass as a younger version of Bruce Willis, without distracting from the story. To that end, Gordon-Levitt says that he spent a large amount of time listening to Bruce Willis’ dialogue from his previous works and studying him in film and in person. Only time will tell if his research and the make-up are successful. But, in the meantime, I thought, “why not compare Looper JGL to 30-year-old Bruce Willis?”.   (from: Mr Movie Fiend)

Growing Up with Monsters - Carla Laemmle's Times at Universial Studios

This book, Growing Up With Monsters: My Times at Universal Studios in Rhymes, is a look back through Carla Laemmle’s eyes to over ninety years ago when she was just a little girl roaming, playing, and living in her uncle’s then newly built Universal Studios back lot from 1921 until 1937. She witnessed the birth of the modern horror film by seeing the Hunchback of Notre Dame filmed there in 1923, being the Prima Ballerina in the Phantom of the Opera in 1925, and even ended up speaking the first line of dialogue in Dracula in 1931—considered the first talking horror film. Read this centenarians tale in rhymes and illustrations and enjoy the gallery of first-release classic Universal Horror posters from these films and Carla’s personal photographs from that era and today.

Warner Bros. defeats heirs of 'Superman'

Almost 75 years after Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman, the battle for ownership of the Last Son of Krypton has become an expensive and much-disputed industry unto itself. Four years ago, Siegel’s heirs won a major victory when a judge granted them half of the Superman copyright, at least regarding how Superman appeared in Action Comics #1. As reported by the LA Times, however, Shuster’s heirs have not been so lucky: Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the family of the co-creator could not reclaim a similar 50% stake in the copyright.

In court papers obtained by EW, the ultimate decision features an exciting winding road through the last three-quarters of a century — and references similar cases involving John Steinbeck, Winnie the Pooh, and Lassie. But the crucial link in the chain is a 1992 agreement between DC and Shuster’s siblings (the artist had no other heirs), when DC agreed to pay the late Shuster’s debts and pay his sister $25,000 a year. The decision comes at a fortuitous time for Warner, which is preparing to release a new Superman film, Man of Steel, next year.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Unimpressive it's NOT !!!

The Los Angeles Central Library in Los Angeles, California, USA

A Library has IMPACT !!!

Central Library, designed by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus of OMA/LMN, Seattle, Washington, USA.

The Ansel Adams you don't know . . .

Most of us know Ansel Adams for his iconic images of Yosemite and the American Southwest. His pictures of Half Dome can be found in museum stores, book shops, and coffee table art tomes throughout the world– not to mention just about one out of every two college dorm rooms. One of our previous century’s most important photographers, Adams’ work was dictated by a tremendous appreciation of the environment–and the desire to showcase our country’s greatest natural treasures in their respective moments of desolate beauty.

But, lesser known is his 1940 work on assignment in Los Angeles for Fortune Magazine. Capturing a pre-war city in all her permutations, Adams put forth a narrative of life unspoiled in a city now so often scolded for the same. Adams discovered these ‘lost’ images in 1960, and donated them to the Los Angeles Public Library. Lucky for us, downtown L.A.’s art gallery ’drkrm’ is presenting these works now through March 17th–at 727 S. Spring Street. Or, catch them online soon!  Shown above is one sample of his work.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Kerry Wood Cubs Field

Chicago Public League student athletes will soon be playing baseball and hosting IHSA state baseball playoffs at a new stadium, Kerry Wood Cubs Field, at Clark Park near Lane Tech High School on Addison Street about a mile from Wrigley Field.

The Chicago Cubs, Chicago Cubs Charities, Wood Family Foundation, City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and Turner Construction all contributed to make the $5 million stadium project possible.

Chicago Cubs Charities Board Chair Laura Ricketts today joined Kerry Wood to break ground on the field along with Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), representatives of the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools, Turner Construction and members of the baseball teams from City Champion Simeon High School, Lane Tech High School and Lakeview High School.

Once completed, Kerry Wood Cubs Field will be owned and operated by the Chicago Park District. The field, which will include seating for 1,100 spectators and fans, is expected to be used by Chicago public high schools citywide throughout the high school baseball season during and after school hours. The Park District also expects to use the field for recreational leagues and use by the general public.

"3, 2, 1...Frankie Go Boom"

"3, 2, 1...Frankie Go Boom" is the story of Frankie (Charlie Hunnam, "Sons of Anarchy") who grew up tortured by his director-wannabe, or "Alfred Bitchcock", older brother Bruce (Chris O'Dowd, 
"Bridesmaids"), and how their relationship has or has not changed over time. When Frankie returns home for a visit, he finds that Bruce has taped his awkward sexual encounter with a new love interest (Lizzy Caplan, "Mean Girls"), and must get it back by any means necessary.

There is a great deal of crude humor that is often found in movies like "Superbad" and "Bridesmaids", but it's done so in moderation with an evident focus on Frankie's relationship with both Bruce and Lassie.

War of the Buttons (La guerre des boutons)

Set in occupied WWII France, the film tells the tale of pre-teen rebel Lebrac and the "war" he leads between two rival kid gangs from neighboring villages. Once Lebrac falls for Violette, a young Jewish girl who is new in town and in danger of being exposed by the Nazis, the children are faced with putting their own conflicts aside to protect her and confront the very real war happening around them.,+CA&dq=war+of+the+buttons&sort=1&mid=a51a14dfc02c47bd&sa=X&ei=OG94UJzwI4ikiQKojoG4Cg&ved=0CCYQwAMoCA 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Klein Bottle House, Mornington Peninsula, Australia

Architect firm McBride Charles Ryan created this slanted beach house, which was developed with topological mathematics in mind. It’s about a two hour drive from Melbourne, features a central courtyard, grand staircase, and has won several awards for its unique design.

Slanted Walls House boasts many unique features!

Sometimes it's the place you're in that can put a new slant on how you see the world, and this angled wall house by Giovanni D'Ambrosio does just that. Located in Mount Hotham, Australia, this house features massive glass walls that are positioned at a slant, giving the design a unique architectural interest while widening the outdoor views and giving the classic, earthy interiors a modern twist. 



Monday, October 08, 2012

I THINK THEY FORGOT THE WINGS ???,2_0_0_1_13678317_AO4Nw0MAAIvrUHMWXAFCE0Bx0n8,2_0_0_1_13677227_AOINw0MAAEnmUHMPmQCEAB1gOJU,2_0_0_1_13676103_AOkNw0MAARdpUHL8bQ4hKj%2FCgxk,2_0_0_1_13674982_AO4Nw0MAAKLAUHLfDg7DfnPs7Bk,2_0_0_1_13672361_AOgNw0MAARVVUHJwmAOAqSappl4,2_0_0_1_13671171_AOUNw0MAACzRUHJodAp9XQTrIcU,2_0_0_1_13670054_AOgNw0MAAX5NUHJbRAP3El1Uyb0,2_0_0_1_13669096_AOgNw0MAAVl0UHJZjwzHRkMUIqg,2_0_0_1_13667899_AO8Nw0MAAC7yUHJEpAne%2F3ovOi0,2_0_0_1_13666782_AOgNw0MAAUYhUHIEdQ73rgKa5Xg,&sort=date&order=down&startMid=0&.jsrand=5475068

When's the last time you saw one of these ???,2_0_0_1_13678317_AO4Nw0MAAIvrUHMWXAFCE0Bx0n8,2_0_0_1_13677227_AOINw0MAAEnmUHMPmQCEAB1gOJU,2_0_0_1_13676103_AOkNw0MAARdpUHL8bQ4hKj%2FCgxk,2_0_0_1_13674982_AO4Nw0MAAKLAUHLfDg7DfnPs7Bk,2_0_0_1_13672361_AOgNw0MAARVVUHJwmAOAqSappl4,2_0_0_1_13671171_AOUNw0MAACzRUHJodAp9XQTrIcU,2_0_0_1_13670054_AOgNw0MAAX5NUHJbRAP3El1Uyb0,2_0_0_1_13669096_AOgNw0MAAVl0UHJZjwzHRkMUIqg,2_0_0_1_13667899_AO8Nw0MAAC7yUHJEpAne%2F3ovOi0,2_0_0_1_13666782_AOgNw0MAAUYhUHIEdQ73rgKa5Xg,&sort=date&order=down&startMid=0&.jsrand=5475068

"Red Bull to photograph a free fall 36km above Earth"

Imagine free-falling from the edge of space down to Earth in around four minutes. It's a daredevil stunt most of us could only dream about, let alone witness.

Red Bull Stratos is the name of a mission that is trying to break the speed of sound, as one man hurtles towards earth from a stratospheric balloon. That man is skydiver and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner, making the jump from a height of 120,000 feet — that's 36.5 kilometres above Earth.

To capture his jump for posterity will be a fleet of cameras also hurtling towards Earth. The camera system consists of three bodies and lenses for capturing cinematic, still and video images, including regular equipment like a Canon 5D Mark III and wide-angle lenses. But there's also many more cameras on board, such as some RED models.

"It's a very sophisticated system that's capable of three channels of live broadcast back to the Earth,  high definition recording, beyond high-definition with 4K cinematography cameras, and a system that basically is a flying television studio," said Jay Nemeth, an aerospace imaging specialist working on the Stratos project.

With temperatures as low as -56 degrees Celsius, Baumgartner has to wear a pressurised space suit fitted with an oxygen supply.

He has already successfully completed a jump from 28.9km above Earth, on 25 July, falling at a speed of 864km/h. You can see photos from the test flight courtesy of the Calgary Sun.

This isn't the first jump of its type to take place. Baumgartner is being mentored by Joe Kittinger, who made a similar jump from 31km above Earth in 1960. Kittinger used spring-wound movie cameras, while his cinematographer had to attach hot water bottles to the cameras to keep them working at the extreme temperatures.

"a mix of Spanish and French Renaissance styles"

The El Royale apartment tower in Hancock Park, a magnet for celebrity tenants since the Jazz Age, has sold for nearly $30 million in what may be the largest price-per-unit sale in Los Angeles history.
The 12-story building at 450 N. Rossmore Ave. was built in 1929 for the Hollywood crowd and early residents included Clark Gable, William Faulkner and Loretta Young. It was designed in a mix of Spanish and French Renaissance styles by the same architect who created the famous Chateau Marmont hotel in West Hollywood.

El Royale was purchased by Kamran Hakim, one of the largest private landlords in New York, and Santa Monica real estate attorney Farhad Eshaghpour. They paid $29.5 million, or $526,786 per unit, real estate broker Ron Harris of Marcus & Millichap/Institutional Property Advisors said.

That's the highest price per unit paid for a Southern California apartment building, according to Marcus & Millichap.

"El Royale is one of the most iconic and celebrated apartment communities in all of Los Angeles County," Harris said.

The seller was a Los Angeles family trust that had controlled the building for more than 50 years. El Royale's original finishes include marble and hardwood floors, mahogany woodwork, tiles and iron chandeliers. Some of the building's 56 units have five bedrooms.

Monday, October 01, 2012

ICC World Twenty20 2012 Super Eights Group 1

Tillakaratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka bats during the ICC World Twenty20 2012 Super Eights Group 1 match between Sri Lanka and England at Pallekele Cricket Stadium on October 1, 2012 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Jumping for Joy !!!

(L-R) Actors David Alvarez, Kiril Kulish and Trent Kowalik jump for joy with the award for best performance by a leading actor in a musical for 'Billy Elliot, The Musical' in the press room during the 63rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 7, 2009 in New York City.

(Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

Loving the Silent Tears

Fly to the Sky’ member Brian Joo is set to star in American musical,Loving the Silent Tears”. The R & B and K-Pop singer will be performing at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on October 27th.

The musical is going to shoe lots of ancient and modern musical styles which will include different songs in different languages and lively choreography from the many cultures featured in the play.

This play comes from the inspiration of the spiritual teacher Ching Hai.

World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel Planned for Staten Island

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said on Thursday that the world’s tallest Ferris wheel would rise above the Staten Island waterfront. The 625-foot-tall ride will displace the Singapore Flyer, at 541 feet the record-holder of the moment.

And what about the High Roller wheel planned for Las Vegas? The New York wheel will reach 75 feet farther into the sky. It will dwarf the 13-year-old London Eye by 182 feet and the original Ferris wheel, built for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, by 361 feet.

As if those statistics were not enough, here are more: The Staten Island wheel will be almost three times the height of the largest Ferris wheel in the United States, the 212-foot machine at the Texas State Fair. As it happens, the Texas wheel is the same size as the Riesenrad in Vienna, which figured in movies like “The Third Man” (1949) and “Scorpio” (1973).

Locally, the new wheel will be more than 10 times the height of the 60-foot one at the Toys “R” Us store in Times Square. Never mind that that wheel is indoors.

The Staten Island wheel — on which construction is expected to begin in two years, with an opening goal of 2015 — will be big in other ways. It will carry 1,440 people at once, 10 times as many as the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island (which, for the record, was originally called the Dip-the-Dip). The Singapore Flyer can accommodate only 840 at a time, the London Eye 800 (the passenger load of 11 double-decker buses, according to the London Eye’s Web site).

Still, the race is on. Norman D. Anderson, the author of “Ferris Wheels: An Illustrated History” (Popular Press, 1992), wondered how long the new New York wheel would reign as No. 1. “Everybody has to have something a little bigger,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time before we go to 1,000 feet.”

Friday, September 28, 2012

"a relic before his time had come"

He was consigned to be a relic before his time had come. Henry Pu Yi started out life as an anachronism, a boy emperor of a fading dynasty. He died as a forgotten footnote, a stooped gardener assigned to the Beijing Botanical Gardens where he tilled the earth that had supported his Qing Dynasty predecessors for nearly 300 years. Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi, the 10th ruler of the Manchu Dynasty, was born to the gilded splendor of the Forbidden City and ascended to the throne in 1908. Just three years later, a nationalist putsch ended the infant's reign. At the tender age of six, the Son of Heaven was out of a job. Twelve years later, in 1924, Pu Yi was ejected from his prison palace by an ambitious warlord. He fled to Tianjin, where he cavorted as an exiled and extravagant playboy, full of imperious airs but no imperial mandate. That mandate, however forced, was reinstated in 1932, when invading Japan set up the puppet regime of Manchukuo in northeastern China. Tapping the disgruntled ex-Emperor as figurehead ruler, the Japanese promised him a kingdom to match his royal breeding. In 1934, Pu Yi slipped into silken robes emblazoned with dragons and formally ascended to the throne of Japanese-occupied Manchukuo, fueled by hopes of a revived Qing Dynasty. Pu Yi proved a brittle ruler who lashed out at cowering servants to compensate for his sense of powerlessness. With the Japanese surrender in 1945, his dreams of empire were dashed, and the chastened Emperor was trundled off by advancing Soviet troops to the Russian Far East, where he spent five years dreading his return to the country he had betrayed. On releasing him into Chinese hands in July 1950, the Soviets heightened the ex-monarch's fears, assuring him that he would be executed by a wrathful populace. Moscow was wrong. By not killing Pu Yi, the Chinese communists avoided making him into a martyr like Nicholas II in Russia or Louis XVI in France. Instead, he was to be fashioned into a Maoist role model, proof that even the most pampered royal could be reformed. Pu Yi spent a decade in jail, where he underwent relentless thought reform. In addition to admitting his complicity in Japanese barbarity in Manchuria and professing communist zealotry, Pu Yi also learned more practical things like how to brush his teeth, wash his feet and tie his shoelaces. On Dec. 4, 1959, Comrade Pu Yi, a 54-year-old who could now dress and groom himself, was issued a special pardon and entered life as a private citizen.In 1960, Pu Yi was sent to the Beijing Botanical Gardens to begin work as a gardener and handyman. The preserve was not far from Pu Yi's old Forbidden City haunts, but it was worlds away from the splendor of imperial China. He lived with his fifth wife in a dilapidated courtyard house, shuffling occasionally to the library to conduct historical research on his defanged and unloved dynasty. Just hours before he died, unmourned, of cancer at a Beijing hospital in 1967, the medical staff reportedly had to link arms to keep the Red Guards from storming the ailing Manchu's ward. Nearly three decades later Pu Yi and his clan finally enjoyed a reprieve. In 1995, his widow was allowed to transfer his ashes from a public columbarium to the Western Qing Tombs, where five of the 10 Manchu rulers are interred. Just a few years before, a sanitized Qing revival had begun. Manchu-style banquets became the rage in Beijing, and state-published recipe books illustrated the proper ways of preparing, for example, a tasty sheep's ear. Cashing in on the hype surrounding Bernardo Bertolucci's 1988 film The Last Emperor, the Chinese tourist bureau even began offering tours of landmark places in Pu Yi's life, including his spartan prison cell in Fushun. The Botanical Gardens, where the deposed Emperor spent many of his final days, were not part of the itinerary. Curious tourists had to make do with official photographs of Pu Yi tending his plants. Those graying portraits evoke a bittersweet Chinese Gothic, a diminutive, bespectacled man standing solemnly with his gardening tools. The one-time Emperor nurtured the earth lovingly, professing himself content with watering his patch of the motherland. In 1960, armed with his first voter's card, Pu Yi voiced the hopes of the great Chinese agrarian revolution: I, along with my 650 million compatriots, was now the owner of our 9,600,000 sq km of land. Perhaps he had forgotten that he had once been responsible for more than just a little plot of flowers. Indeed, as a very little boy, Henry Pu Yi had once owned it all.

"his road warrior days will soon be over"

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - George Strait is getting ready to park his tour bus.

The enduring country music superstar announced Wednesday during a news conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum that he will embark on his final tour early next year. Strait will play 21 dates in 2013, then 20 more in 2014 on The Cowboy Rides Away tour. He plans to continue recording music and making occasional live appearances after that, but his road warrior days will soon be over.

"fighting for his life as he hunts his older self"

In a futuristic gangland in the year 2044, a 25-year-old assassin named Joseph Simmons (Gordon-Levitt) works for a mafia company in Kansas City as a "Looper". Loopers kill and dispose of agents sent by their employers from corporate headquarters in Shanghai from the year 2072. Loopers are foot soldiers, paid on the condition that all targets must never escape. When Simmons recognizes his target as a future version of himself (Willis), his older self escapes after incapacitating him. The failure of his job causes his employers to come after him, forcing him to fight for his life as he hunts his older self.

Diaoyu controversy still looming

Talking about the Diaoyu islands, China’s late leader Deng Xiaoping said in 1978 that “We believe that we should set the issue aside for a while if we cannot reach agreement on it. It is not an urgent issue and can wait for a while. If our generation do not have enough wisdom to resolve this issue, the next generation will have more wisdom, and I am sure that they can find a way acceptable to both sides to settle this issue.”

When meeting Suzuki Zenko, a member of the lower house of the Japanese Diet from the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party on May 11, 1979, Deng said that consideration may be given to joint development of the resources adjacent to the Diaoyu Islands without touching upon its territorial sovereignty.

"a blithering idiot named Inspector Dreyfus"

Herbert Lom, the actor who played Chief Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther movies and was memorably reduced to eye-twitching madness dealing with Peter Sellers' imbecilic Inspector Clouseau, has died. He was 95.

Lom died Thursday in his sleep at his London home, said the actor's son Alec.

A Czech native who immigrated to England just before the start of World War II, Lom carved out a prolific career that included a starring role as the King of Siam in the original 1953 London production of "The King and I."

He also appeared in scores of films over more than 60 years, including playing a crime-gang member in "The Ladykillers" (1955), Napoleon in "War and Peace" (1956), a pirate chieftain in "Spartacus" (1960) and the title role in the Hammer Films production of "The Phantom of the Opera" (1962).

But he was "badly typecast in British films," Lom told Australia's Daily Telegraph in 1999, "and it needed an American, Blake Edwards, to take me away from endless villainous roles and into the comedy of the Pink Panther films."

Lom's first time out as the long-suffering Charles Dreyfus was in "A Shot in the Dark," the 1964 follow-up to "The Pink Panther," writer-director Edwards' 1963 hit that introduced Sellers as Jacques Clouseau.

"I was invited to have lunch at the Dorchester with Blake Edwards," Lom told the Edinburgh Evening News in 2002. "He told me he had seen me playing heavy villains and thought I was funny.

"At first I didn't take it as a compliment. But then he explained that he did not want a comic actor who would play Dreyfus for laughs."

Lom viewed his involvement in the Pink Panther films playing "a blithering idiot named Inspector Dreyfus," as a highlight of his career.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mr. “Moon River”

In his prime, Iowa-born Andy Williams, who died Tuesday night at age 84 at his home in Branson, Mo., was more popular than Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj combined. From 1962 to 1971, millions of Americans tuned into his weekly variety show to watch such stars as Dinah Shore and Perry Como, but were often surprised by appearances of such then-unknowns as Elton John, the Mamas and the Papas, BeeGees and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Yes, he introduced the world to the Osmonds, but he also booked international superstars such as Antonio Carlos Jobin and displayed a crazy, absurdist humor — check out Cookie Bear and “The Walking Suitcase” in skits on the Web — which calls to mind the wacky comedy embraced by present-day late-night hosts Dave Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon.

While the Beatles and their British brethren invaded American radio in the ’60s, Williams continued to have hit records, especially in England where his singles outsold records by the Rolling Stones, Kinks and The Who.

Over a career that spanned more than 50 years and survived numerous fads and trends, Williams had 27 Top 40 singles. He absolutely owned the American pop charts in the ’60s, scoring with such smashes as “Days of Wine and Roses,” “On the Street Where You Live” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic,’ which was a favorite of the late Robert F. Kennedy and his wife Ethel.

Williams is even more revered today for two popular songs that have become American standards: his signature song “Moon River” (it was never released as a single because his record company feared such lines as “my huckleberry friend” were too confusing and old-fashioned for teens) and the Christmas classic, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” which will forever be ubiquitous every December.

His holiday TV specials, on which he was surrounded by children and wore the most brightly colored pullover sweaters this side of Lawrence Welk’s singers, continue to draw an audience in reruns.
Need more evidence of Williams’ staying power?

“Moon River,” written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer and introduced in the 1962 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” is a favorite with musicians young and old. Current pop stars from the Killers, R.E.M and Morrissey have covered the song in concert. Even local New Kid Joey McIntyre did a credible job, but no one has surpassed Williams’ version. Even more impressive, fans of ‘The Simpsons’ know his mellow croon melts the heart of Springfield bully Nelson Muntz. Ha-haw, indeed!

"a 1924 super-light Dormoy Bathtub ???"

SEATTLE — Ed Kusmirek has built something special. Starting in his family room, then continuing in a garage near his house in Renton, Wash., he's fashioned what looks like an elaborate go-cart with wings.

It's a precise replica of a vintage airplane, a 1924 super-light Dormoy Bathtub. Almost six decades ago, Boeing Co. retiree Kusmirek hatched the dream of re-creating this particular piece of aviation history — and flying it.

Now with his airplane built, the 84-year-old needs only approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and a quick refresher of his flying skills to take it up.,0,4718556.story

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Uli Biaho Tower, Pakistan

It is a peak near Trango Towers and Baltoro Glacier in the Northern Areas of Pakistan . 
It consists of two main peaks, 

Uli Biaho Tower (listed by Roskelley as 19,957 feet, and by Kopold as 6109 m (20,058 feet));
and Uli Biaho Peak (Kopold: 6417 m), which as of 2006 was unclimbed.

K2 is in Pakistan

It is the second-highest mountain on Earth, only after Mount Everest . 
It has a peak elevation of 8,611 m [28,251 feet]!!!;_ylc=X3oDMTBvZ2VoZGRnBF9TAzM5ODMwMTAyNwRhYwNuZXh0TWVzZw--&pSize=200&sMid=12&fid=Inbox&mid=2_0_0_1_13597095_AOkNw0MAAFW9UGDttQyDxneQGCQ&sort=date&order=down&startMid=0&.rand=1548713487&filterBy=&m=2_0_0_1_13604761_AOENw0MAAFedUGIGFAnaxxv3xa8%2C2_0_0_1_13603558_AO8Nw0MAAJzrUGH9EwA%2FrBgAJhU%2C2_0_0_1_13602320_AOkNw0MAAGrPUGH8CgjRfGgUrLY%2C2_0_0_1_13601232_AOgNw0MAAK8WUGHKowldZTShZaU%2C2_0_0_1_13598907_AOANw0MAAC47UGFbkwmViH%2FGWiw%2C2_0_0_1_13597709_AO4Nw0MAAUH3UGEsKw6jJklnrDY%2C2_0_0_1_13597095_AOkNw0MAAFW9UGDttQyDxneQGCQ%2C2_0_0_1_13595894_AOENw0MAAH%2F2UGDd6wb4hX%2B%2Fn04%2C2_0_0_1_13594601_AOMNw0MAAQaGUGDESwRZ%2BmMc2IE%2C2_0_0_1_13593207_AO8Nw0MAAUdcUGC%2FFwqLFk1RrzU& 

Beautiful Pakistan

Laila Peak , Hushe, Karakoram Range , Pakistan .

It has a distinctive spear-like shape. One of the most beautiful & scenic 
snow covered mountains of the world.

The Laila peak has been climbed only twice.

The Great Trango Tower , 6,286 m (20,608 ft)

The east face of the Great Trango Tower features the world's greatest nearly vertical drop.
[aka Tallest vertical mountain of world]

Located in Gilgit-Baltistan Region of Pakistan . This is one of the most difficult mountains to climb.;_ylc=X3oDMTBvZ2VoZGRnBF9TAzM5ODMwMTAyNwRhYwNuZXh0TWVzZw--&pSize=200&sMid=12&fid=Inbox&mid=2_0_0_1_13597095_AOkNw0MAAFW9UGDttQyDxneQGCQ&sort=date&order=down&startMid=0&.rand=1548713487&filterBy=&m=2_0_0_1_13604761_AOENw0MAAFedUGIGFAnaxxv3xa8%2C2_0_0_1_13603558_AO8Nw0MAAJzrUGH9EwA%2FrBgAJhU%2C2_0_0_1_13602320_AOkNw0MAAGrPUGH8CgjRfGgUrLY%2C2_0_0_1_13601232_AOgNw0MAAK8WUGHKowldZTShZaU%2C2_0_0_1_13598907_AOANw0MAAC47UGFbkwmViH%2FGWiw%2C2_0_0_1_13597709_AO4Nw0MAAUH3UGEsKw6jJklnrDY%2C2_0_0_1_13597095_AOkNw0MAAFW9UGDttQyDxneQGCQ%2C2_0_0_1_13595894_AOENw0MAAH%2F2UGDd6wb4hX%2B%2Fn04%2C2_0_0_1_13594601_AOMNw0MAAQaGUGDESwRZ%2BmMc2IE%2C2_0_0_1_13593207_AO8Nw0MAAUdcUGC%2FFwqLFk1RrzU&

Monday, September 24, 2012

"This Is Cinerama"

Sixty years ago, Hollywood was in deep trouble.

Movie attendance was in decline because people preferred to watch "I Love Lucy" on television in the comfort of their own homes. To lure them back into theaters, a new widescreen format called Cinerama was introduced, debuting Sept. 30, 1952, when "This Is Cinerama" premiered in New York City.

And it worked.

Hosted by travel writer and journalist Lowell Thomas, who was also one of the producers, "This Is Cinerama" featured simultaneously projecting images from three synchronized projectors — the movie was shot with three interlocked cameras in a process known as three strip — onto a deeply curved screen. The system, which re-created the full range of human vision, was invented by Fred Waller.

Though the film seems dated today — the three separate panels are clearly visible — one can understand the impact this film made around the world as viewers were plunged into the seat of a roller coaster or traveling across country on the nose of a B-28 bomber.

"This Is Cinerama" also took viewers to faraway places such as the La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy, to witness a lengthy sequence from "Aida," a bullfight in Madrid and water-skiing demonstration at Cypress Gardens in Florida.

Despite the fact it was only in a limited number of theaters, the film was No 1 at the box office. Studios stood up and took notice. Less than a year later, 20th Century Fox presented its first widescreen CinemaScope epic "The Robe," and other big-screen formats followed suit including VistaVision, Todd-AO and Super Panavision 70. Cinerama's legacy can be found today in the popular big-screen format Imax.

The ArcLight celebrates the format's 60th anniversary Friday through Oct. 4 at — where else? — the Cinerama Dome with presentations of 12 Cinerama titles. Highlights include popular films from 1962 "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" and "How the West Was Won," and "It's Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World," from 1963 and 1968's "2001: A Space Odyssey," which was shot in Super Panavision 70.
The festival also features the premiere of "In the Picture," the first three-strip Cinerama movie that has been made in 50 years. The short tribute to Cinerama was directed by film editor David Strohmaier, who has been digitally restoring and remastering several of the Cinerama features and previously directed the 2002 documentary "Cinerama Adventure."

Strohmaier, who grew up watching Cinerama movies, recalled that the success of these films was "so "immediate you couldn't get tickets. Cinerama was breaking records right and left."

By the 1960s, he said, "there were 274 theaters around the world who showed these movies. Downtown Tehran had a Cinerama theater. It became an event. Cinerama was more a phenomenon than a fad. It lasted a good 12-13 years." (Eventually, the high cost of producing three-strip films become too steep and the studios stopped producing them.)

On Tuesday, Flicker Alley is releasing the Blu-ray and DVD of "This Is Cinerama" and the 1958 "Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich" in a format called Smilebox, which replicates the curved screen of the theatrical Cinerama experience.

"I think 'This Is Cinerama' is as significant a picture as 'The Jazz Singer,'" said John Sittig, the ArcLight Cinemas director of projection and sound.

" 'The Jazz Singer' was not the first talking picture and it wasn't even 100% talking, but it was it the one that everyone points to, and it is the same with 'This Is Cinerama.' There were several widescreen movies in the 1930s and Disney did stereophonic sound with 'Fantasia'…"

"This is one that really struck culturally with the public," said Flicker Alley's Jeff Masino. "I find the films such a fascinating record of the world 60 years ago."

For more information on the Cinerama events at the Cinerama Dome, go to For Flicker Alley information, go to