Tuesday, February 26, 2013

BEST NEW architecture in the LAST century??

Zaha Hadid.....where have you been my entire life?  You are an artist. You are a visionary.  And you have evolved into a design essence which I can identify with.  The way that I've evolved over the last forty years as an architectural hobbiest.

Gehry is wonderful, yes!  He was my hero for a period.  At one point, Gehry, made feel emotional.

Similar but not exactly like I feel discovering your monumental visions/structure. You are exploring non-traditional forms and you and Gehry are making this new architecture elegant and ethereal, but in different ways.  You are creating new art and sculptural forms in architecture. Based upon the world we live in today and using the technology, design and material advancements in the last fifty years. (like the picture at right which three seeming "bouncing" buildings are sitting together).

Dame Hadid..........I only learned your name in my History of Architecture class last night (2/25/13).  I've seen several of her buildings/designs but didn't know her name.  This architect, Hadid, is arguably one of the most enlightened artists in our world today and in the last two hundred years.

Pei was interesting, too.  Phillip Johnson made a mark.  And then there was Frank Lloyd Wright.  But creating new forms, defying engineering rules known before and incorporating technology, means that you both are truly leading this industry into the new world.  When I was a kid I dreamed to understand the beauty of Frank Lloyd Wright.  Being the old man that I am, I give thanks for the architecture created by Zaha Hadid.

When I was a child I was for some bizarre reason obsessed with the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.  I was a stupid idiot kid from Lubbock, loser, West Texas which is truly the armpit of the world.  But Lloyd was magical for a hick, dumb shit idiot like me.  I guess I found the structures appealing for all sorts of reasons.

I have literally not felt that childhoold level of passion for architecture since I discovered Zaha Hadid last night.  These structures are simply magnificent.  Gehry, is as well.  There is such yin and yang in both their work.

Magnifique ............behold photos below:

Credit, copyright for all of these photos belongs to zahab hadid

Saturday, February 23, 2013

And the OSCAR(s) go to.......

Well my favorite night of the year is tomorrow night.  The Oscars!

Just went to Django Unchained today.  I was shocked at how good I thought it was.  

So, after Django, I've seen all nominated best pictures this year except for Amour.  I didn't see The Master which includes Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Actress.

But I feel quite confident to make predictions. I'M HOPING THAT MY PERSONAL PREFERENCES WIN OVER MY PREDICTIONS (SEE BELOW). Here goes....my predictions for tomorrow night's Oscar winners:


Best Picture

Best Director
Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

Best Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) 

Best Actress
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Waltz (Django Unchained)

Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln)

Film Editing
William Goldenberg (Argo)

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Tony Kushner

Writing (Original Screenplay)
Zero Dark Thirty

Unfortunately, the Oscar winners do not always reflect the very best performances of the year.  So, in light of that, here's my opinion (caveat:  not having seen Amour or The Master), 

Who I Think Should Win (based upon performance)

Best Picture
Argo, Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty or Life of Pi

Best Director
David O. Russell (Silver) or Ang Lee (Life of Pi) 
[although it should be Ben Affleck or Kathleen Bigelow, IMHO]

Best Actor
Hugh Jackman (Les Miz) or Bradley Cooper (Silver)

Best Actress
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver) or Jessica Chastain (Zero) or Quvenzahane Wallis (Beasts)

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Waltz (Django) or Robert de Niro (Silver)

Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway (Les Miz) or Helen Hunt (The Sessions)

Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi) or Robert Richardson (Django)

Film Editing
Tim Squyres (Life of Pi) or William Goldenberg (Argo)

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Chris Terrio (Argo) or Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin (Beasts)

This has truly been the most remarkable year of film-viewing in my lifetime.  The array and diversity, the sheer imagination, of most of these nominated films make all movies in the last 20 to 30 years sort of irrelevant.  The performances of the actors and ensembles is just so top notch.  (If these "kids" Hugh Jackman, Bradley Cooper, Ang Lee, Quentin Tarrantino, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway, Behn Zeitland, Ben Affleck, Quvenzhane Wallis continue to set such a higher notch of excellence at their relatively younger age, then holy shit......how much will film making evolve after I'm gone???!  It's wonderful to think of?   When I was a kid, no one could even conjure a Meryl Streep.  Who will be the Meryl Streep when these kids have had full career?)

I hope they keep making more of these kinds of movies and not the stupid testosterone films or the cartoons or series.  This year's Oscars is evidence of why they should (although I will say that Skyfall is the best James Bond film ever and one of the best films of the year).

Monday, February 18, 2013

MYSTERY dolphin SCHOOLING in San Diego

This is magnificent.  I once saw a similar school of dolphins off the northern San Diego coast as I was driving on Pacific Coast Highway.  But there weren't anywhere near this many. If you follow this blog you know that I love dolphins and elephants, among many other things.  But this is truly a breathtaking image.  

Massive group of mammals: A ship captain spotted a group of 100,000 dolphins swimming together off the coast of San Diego on Thursday and experts are unable to give a specific reasoning for why such a large group would be there

A group of over 100,000 dolphins spotted off the coast of San Diego caused a spectacle for nature watchers as they traveled together in an enormous pack.

'They were coming from all directions, you could see them from as far as the eye can see,' Joe Dutra said after seeing the spectacle first hand.

Mr Dutra, who captains Hornblower Cruises, was out on his daily tour with a boat full of nature watchers when he spotted the massive group of dolphins. 

'I’ve seen a lot of stuff out here… but this is the biggest I’ve ever seen, ever,' he told the local NBC affiliate.

Dolphins typically travel in groups of anywhere between 15 and 200 which are called pods.

What Mr Dutra spotted on Thursday however is best described as a super mega pod given the astonishing size of the group.

He estimated that the trail of dolphins was seven miles long and five miles wide, and he was able to steer the boat alongside them for over an hour.  

Experts are unable to pinpoint any specific reason as to why so many of the mammals were traveling together on this particular night. 'They’re definitely social animals, they stick together in small groups. But sometimes, the schools come together,' marine expert Sarah Wilkin told NBC.

While it does seem like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a very similar flock of thousands of dolphins were seen swimming together about this time last year.

At the end of February in 2012, an unspecified group of dolphins was spotted swimming about 65 miles north of San Diego, implying that there may be an unacknowledged migratory pattern.

This article is excerpted from dailymail.com.  To see a video or read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2280236/Mystery-group-100-000-dolphins-spotted-swimming-coast-San-Diego.html#ixzz2LIXF12uo

Sunday, February 10, 2013

ME WANT: Gulfstream begins delivering outfitted G650 aircraft

Can't wait until mine arrives!  Ha!

This new beauty flies approximately 700 miles an hour and can travel a distance of 8,000 miles.  I want to be a stewardess on one of these.  Since I'll never have the $65 million to buy one.  This plane, according to the CNN article below, also has a separate crew galley, restroom and rest quarters.  Now that is civilized living for the help, no?  No Marie Antoinette's here.

I did a previous blog on this jet as well as other business/corporate jets.  Click Here: Previous blog entry on the G650 and other private jets.

Also check out an interesting (well sort-of....in someways it disgusts me) story at CNN.com about one of the new G650 owners at

At the beginning of the article are a series of photos not to be missed showing private jets of some of the richer celebrities/individuals own (I guess routine millionaires can't really afford to operate a plane like this....they have to charter!  Do they feel like they are flying coach like the rest of us???)  Beyonce bought Jay-Z one as a father's day gift.  Ha!

photo from aero-comlab.stanford.edu

photo from eflightlevel.blogspot.com

Interior--photo from privatejetscharter.net

photo from corporatetakeover.wordpress.com

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chick-fil-A...an INTERESTING commentary from lesbian chef at CNN.com

This was a very interesting column about the recent announcement by Chick-fil-A that they no longer are financially donating to the right wing-organization that is anti gays and lesbian.

First, she is from the South and grew up with this fast food chain. We had one in Lubbock-awful-Texas where I was cursed to be born. I ate at occasionally as a kid and it was good. But I never thought of it as not as good as Whataburger, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Villa or the quasi-fast places like Chinese Kitchen (is it still there?) or a couple of barbeque haunts. Certainly, in my mind, Chick-fil-A never came near to the premier fast food experience of my life: In-N-Out, once I moved to California in 1985.

Second, the writer, Virginia Willis, considers Chick-fil-A to be a cut above the typical fast food chain fare. Willis by the way has a distinguished pedigree having trained at L'Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne. For fellow "foodies" who worship the fine art of eating, she poses a very interesting dilemma. The problem is that her passion for the food at the former (apparently) gay-hating Chick-fil-A makes her want to return as a customer. Reading her column also made me want to try it again after several decades. But I feel conflicted just as does this writer and slightly different, yet, for the same reasons.

Read here Ms. Willis' excellent essay at Eatocracy on CNN: Click-fil-a Controversy Leaves a Bitter Taste for Some Longtime Fans

If you are pro gay, what do you think about this column and the dilemma? Should Chick-fil-A be forgiven? Are they really sincere? If you're a supporter of gay rights and a lover of Chick-fil-A's food, should you be forgiven if you satiate your lust for the food at the food chain since they have offered a quasi mea culpa?

I am a devotee of the great show on tv "What Would You Do?".

What would you do?