Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Watching HIDDEN FIGURES

I regret that I haven't seen this movie, Hidden Figures, sooner.  What a remarkable movie and timely a movie it is.  It is sad that the racial discrimination issues that the film depicts about from decades ago are forefront to our political environment theses days.

The movie is about 3 African American women working at NASA during the fledgling first of period of the space race between the US and USSR.  The film is a star-studded cast of actors which deserve kudos:   Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson.

The movie is brilliant.  I'm going to watch it again.  It is so hopeful in these days of terror we live in.  It tells the saga of three black woman who work at NASA and ultimately become the most part of NASA's early space missions, with their mathematical calculations and ability to master the new computer systems.  Talk about pioneering!

This film tells the true story and does so with a masterful team of actors also, including actors Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst.

I used to watch all Academy Award nominated films before the awards.  I failed miserably this last last award season.  

This movie is fantastic.   Please see it.  I seldom find movies to watch that are interesting and worth the effort.  This is definitely one of them.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Another SAD SIGN of our time. It looks as though THE QUEEN MARY ocean liner will be scrapped.



Don't confuse this with the newer cruise ship, the Queen Mary 2.  This is the original!

I love everything about transportation (both current and past).  But this news just breaks my heart.   The majestic and loyal ocean liner that transported British royals, celebrities and WW2 war troops is such a magical place.  I have stayed there and visited it since the late 80's when I moved from LA to Long Beach.  If you are interested in ocean liners and their illustrious past I'd suggest you go and visit the ship soon.

News reports suggest that The Queen Mary it is not long for this world.  I truly hope this is not so.. See this article which says that the beautiful piece of history needs $300million to renovate:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4340748/Queen-Mary-ship-urgent-need-300M-repairs.html#comments

Thursday, March 30, 2017

It's been ages but I cooked last night: One-Pot Cheesy Italian Pasta and Chicken

A friend of mine on Facebook posted one of those short videos that show in quick motion the creation of a recipe.  I can't figure out how to put the video on here.   So I will refer you to the recipes creator and the website.  I've included the recipe below.  All rights are reserved for the photo and recipe with Donna Elick and her cookbook The Slow Roasted Italian copyright 2016.  Bon appetite!

First I'd suggest you watch the enticing video which is probably 30 seconds. Link: http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2016/10/one-pot-cheesy-Italian-Pasta-Chicken-recipe.html?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email

The recipe is below.  My comments/suggestions are below the recipe.  Bravo! Ms. Elick.  I have to say this about this recipe:

  • It was incredible
  • It was simple
  • It was quick
  • It didn't require a lot of prep time
  • It didn't require a lot clean up
  • Oh, and it was delicious
One-Pot Cheesy Italian Pasta and Chicken
SERVES 6  |  ACTIVE TIME 20 Min  |  TOTAL TIME 30 Minutes

8 ounces baby spinach leaves, divided
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and Italian herbs, drained (about 7 ounces)
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1/2" bite size pieces)
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 pound dry linguine
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups (32 ounces) reduced sodium chicken stock
1 cup (8 ounces) chardonnay wine
4 ounces fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded

Combine 1/2 of the spinach with the tomatoes, onion, chicken, garlic, linguine, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pour chicken stock and wine over top. Cover and bring to a boil.

Cook 7-9 minutes until pasta is al dente (with a bite to it). Toss pasta with tongs occasionally to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. You will still have some liquid in the pan when the pasta is done cooking. This is going to make the base for our delicious cheese sauce.

Turn off the heat and add the cheese to the pasta. Toss pasta with tongs until the cheese melts into the pasta. Toss in remaining spinach. Serve and enjoy!

DONNA'S SIMPLE KITCHEN TIP: Dried Italian Seasoning is a fabulous convenience ingredient. If you do not keep it on hand, combine 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon oregano and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.

This dish is just spicy enough to make your tongue tingle. For a very mild sauce, reduce the red pepper flakes to 1/2 teaspoon.

I know some people are sensitive to alcohol. The wine adds a fabulous rich buttery flavor and a bright citrusiness to the pasta. If you can use the chardonnay, I highly recommend it. However, you can substitute with chicken stock, white grape juice, or lemon water (1/2 cup fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup water).

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian http://theslowroasteditalian-printablerecipe.blogspot.com/2016/10/one-pot-cheesy-italian-pasta-and-chicken.html

Copyright ©2016 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.
_________________________

Here's my comments about my first time at trying this brilliant recipe.   There will be many more times that I make this.  But we made slight alterations:


  • We used boneless, skinless thighs--I do not like white meat. (I think that you might find boneless, skinless, white meat in prepared in 1/2" pieces--I was pleased that our grocery store had boneless, skinless dark meat).
  • We should have bought the pre-chopped onions that are available in produce. It would have saved a short bit of time.
  • I used garlic from the jar, which saved prep time. So sue me....it saved time.
  • That was all the prep work that it took and it was very quick (like 10 minutes).  
  • My mother doesn't like heat, so I only added a dash of the red pepper flakes. This was not my preference, because I like things spicier.
  • The jar of sun dried tomatoes weren't cut. They we're large tomatoes. I'd suggest cutting these in half before you put them in the pot.
  • Next time I make this I'd like to try it with three cheeses sprinkled over the top for each plate. The parmesan that was in the dish was fabulous. But I love cheese. I'd like to see what those other would do. I might even try it with a little mushroom. But it is perfect as it it.
  • This is a perfect recipe. It took us at most 30 minutes from prep to finish. You only have one dish to clean, the pot that you dump everything and cook in, and a few prep utensil. I cannot wait to make this again! One of the best and easiest recipes I've ever made




Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A NEW Super Tall Building is proposed in New York

OIIO STUDIO  


A new "supertall" skyscraper has been proposed for New York.  The inverted "u-shaped" tower would be 4000 ft, the longest tower in the world and would stand at its curve approximatley 200 ft higher than One Trade Center, which is tallest tower in New York.  The design is by architect Ioannis Oikonomou. who was influenced by the technology of horizontal elevators.

“'If we manage to bend our structure instead of bending the zoning rules of New York we would be able to create one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan,'” he continued. “'The longest building in the world. The Big Bend can become a modest architectural solution to the height limitations of Manhattan.'”  The building is proposed to be built to the south of Central Park on 'billionaires row.'

I'm not sure that I like the design.  What do you think?

Reference:
"The Big Bend: U-shaped New York Skyscraper seeks 'Longest in the World Title."  Moore, J. 2017. http://www.newsweek.com/big-bend-u-shaped-new-york-skyscraper-seeks-longest-world-title-575267/.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NEW Train Technology that helps to drown out all of the bad news in our country

I love the subject of transportation.  I've always been particularly fascinated with airlines, but my curiosity has included trains and ocean liners.

In the U.S., we do not depend on rail travel as the rest of the developed (and non) countries around the world.  In fact, the fascist trump proposed a budget proposal that eliminates Amtrak's longer routes.  So much for his discussion while a candidate to build and improve the U.S. infrastructure.

Since a kid, I have lamented that railroad was rather an obsolete and rare form of travel in this declining country.


On a more positive note, there was an article in today's Daily Mail Online (3/21/17) that was very exciting developments in both the US are happening today regarding the advancement and deployment of train travel.  Shame on our government.  It looks like the US government, in the near future, will no longer be the leading driver of developing infrastructure and technology in any way.  If this is true, then the US is no longer the greatest country.

This article was an update on the previously announcement that a new high-speed product which is being developed by the maverick, Elon Musk.  The fast train is expected to travel at the speed of 760 miles per hour.  This article talks about the development of the first passenger capsule pod of the "Hyperloop" system, as it has been named.  The first test prototype of the pod is currently being built.  In addition, there is a "1.8 mile (3 km) full-scale and full speed enclosed prototype is taking shape in the desert in North Las Vegas in Nevada – and the company is expected to perform a public trial in the first half of 2017."

This technology miracle of train traveling train Pod vehicles "will carry a total of 164,000 passengers daily, departing every 40 seconds."  There are a number of routes that have been proposed for implementation of the Hyperloop, including LA-Las Vegas, SFO-Las Vegas, and in the middle east to Dubai, and other routes.

It is such a tragedy that our current country doesn't appear to care about technology and infrastructure development.  These are the investments that made us a great country through the last century.  In my opinion, this is creating a decline of America as a world power.  I don't know if I will live to see this amazing technology come to fruition.   I do know that the current US administration and legislation will do nothing to encourage technology.

Horray for Elon Musk and the other mavericks out there that are moving the world forward.  Shame on our government.



Reference
MacDonald, C. (2017). Hyperloop gets real: Work begins on first passenger pods for Elon Musk's futuristic transport system Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4336584/Hyperloop-firm-begins-building-passenger-pod.html#ixzz4c1iia26a Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4336584/Hyperloop-firm-begins-building-passenger-pod.html 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Thank You to the blogging community and the town that I live in

The world is so tenuous and doubtful these days.  I often feel that the sky is falling or has fallen.

I want to take time to thank all fellow bloggers/readers and all the people that are in my community.  These factors are what I can rely on in this frightening day and age.


I find that in the US, our future is very frightening and tenuous based upon this fascist president and legislative branch that we put in office.  I want to focus on things that are still in existence, before these people that are currently in office, eliminate all life as we knew it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Renovated GREY GARDENS goes up for sale

The famous Grey Gardens mansion in the Georgica Pond neighborhood of East Hampton has gone up for sale for $20M, according The Wall Street Journal. The home was featured in the 1975 documentary, "Grey Gardens" which featured its owner Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, known as "Big Edie" and her daughter "Little Edie" (shown in the photo below in front of the house.  Bouvier Beale was an aunt to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Little Edie’ Beale at Grey Gardens. PHOTO: EVERETT COLLECTION

The documentary illustrates the tragic, ruined lives of these two ladies and their house.  There was also a 2009 great television film dramatizing the story which starred Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore as Big Edie and Little Edie, respectively.  A 2006 Broadway musical which continued to bring this tragic tale to the forefront. There was an LA production done of the musical at the Ahmanson Theater which starred Betty Buckley and Rachel York in the title roles which I saw in 2016.

Back to Grey Gardens the mansion which in the documentary was shown in complete ruin even though it was occupied.  The mansion eventually was bought by Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee, editor and journalist, respectively, of The Washington Post .   The property was restored by the couple.   According to Ms. Quinn, it was furnished with refurbished pieces that she found in the attic which belong to the Beales.

Interesting footnote, I thought, to a legendary story.



https://www.wsj.com/articles/grey-gardens-goes-on-the-market-for-nearly-20-million-1486570126


   

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

GEORGE LUCAS selects LA as home to his $1B museum



http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-la-wins-lucas-museum-20170110-htmlstory.html


George Lucas finally selects LA to build a museum to house his huge collection.   He's paying for the $1B structure as well which will be located in LA's Exposition Park, adjacent to his alma mater SCU.   This is after a decade of work.   Initially his choice was Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan, but the city wouldn't allow it.  So Mr. Lucas changed his shortlist to Los Angeles and San Francisco.  San Francisco offered Treasure Island as a location and LA offered Exposition Park which is central to LA and in close to the LA museums.  I think it's apropos that he chose LA since much of his collection that will be on display is movie related.