Tuesday, June 20, 2017

RICHARD BRANSON has plans for a new Supersonic Commercial Jet to replace the Concorde


This is encouraging news about how we will be advancing forward in technology in the future.  Billionaires they may be, but Richard Branson and Elon Musk are making giant steps forward mankind, unlike the imbecile trump and his junta government.  I've always thought the it was very sad that our supersonic transportation became obsolete when the Concorde fleet was retired in 2003.  Thank heavens for the amazingly wealthy humans who are doing something for mankind.  The same could be said about billionaires who are philanthropic (Bill Gates).  Fun article.  I just hope I live to see the day it flies (well, maybe not, based upon the wold today).

The aircraft could go into commercial service as early 2020 and several airlines have committed to buy.   The Concorde was funded by governments.  Two airlines, Air France and British Airways starting in 1976.  The aircraft was never profitable for either carrier.

This new plane will be more profitable for airlines to operate and will passengers will pay the equivalent of a Business Class fare today.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A GREAT Independent Movie: TABLE 19

We just finished watching a great, quirky small independent film titled, Table 19.  It has a great cast (Lisa Kudrow, Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson, among others).

Years ago in my 20's, 30's and 40's I relished indie films.  And they were prolific compared to 2017.  Most movies are made for young men.  They have recently been the drivers for the billions of dollars generated by testosterone-geared movies.  I was very happy to see that Wonder Woman which is from that genre, defeat and make huge amounts of money.  I'm thrilled.  But I doubt I'll watch the movie.

Table 19 is a film about a handful of odd characters who find themselves seated at the last table of a wedding dinner.  They are individually eccentric, to say the least.  I really enjoyed this film.  I wish more indie films were made.  I'm so old that maybe I'm just clueless.  But I would recommend Table 19!  If you don't like it then go watch the latest $300 M Mavil comic book which will premiered next Friday.

Great cast.  Good script.  Good production values.  And not about comic book characters.  I doubt they even spent more than $20-$30M to make it.

Monday, June 12, 2017

2017 Tony Awards

Just finished watching my favorite show of the year, the Tony's. It didn't disappoint. I sobbed my way through it. I read one reviewer who compared it to last year and the Hamilton triumph. I thought this year's awards were fabulous. My days of seeing shows are over, sadly. But everything I read indicated that it was a great Broadway season. 
Kevin Spacey did a great job as emcee. Kudos, Kevin.

I was so hoping that Bette Midler would win for Hello Dolly! And she did. And she gave a singular acceptance speech which was classic Bette. When she went on too long and the orchestra started playing music to signal that her time was up, she told them to "Shut up." And they did. It was the ultimate Divine Miss M moment ever. Kudos to her for the award and the command performance in accepting the award. When this diva speaks we all should listen. I don't think anyone on the planet during these award shows has ever told the orchestra to shut up and the orchestra stopped. That is power!

I so wish I could have seen shows this season. I saw two of my favorite actresses, Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon on Andy Cohen's talk show and I was so fascinated by the way their play, Little Foxes, was being presented (https://www.nytimes.com/…/little-foxes-review-cynthia-nixon…). Cynthia Nixon won an award and I was thrilled. Laura Linney didn't. This actor is long overdue for an Oscar and a Tony. I would love to see this show twice and watch the actors play the same role.

I'd read about the new musical Dear Evan Hansen and I had a feeling it was in contention. There several great performances but Ben Platt's (Dear Evan Hansen) was astonishing. The musical went on to win 6 Tony Awards including Ben Platt for Best Actor in a Musical. 
Another remarkable moment for me, was when Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersol sang for the nominated musical "War Paint". What an amazing pairing of vocal genius. I read somewhere that Ms. LuPone thinks this is her last show. I hope not.
Finally, this award show had a show ending. Kevin Spacey and Patti LuPone sang a Frank Sinatra-esque song and all the winners came out. This year was star power even though Lin-Manuel Miranda made a short appearance to present an award. What a season that I missed. (Would love to have seen Sally Field and Cate Blanchett, both who were up for rewards.

A year after "Hamilton" dominated the Tonys, Broadway shines.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Are Atheists Generally Smarter Than Religious People?

I have truncated this headline of a really interesting and evocative article.  The actual article, on Huffington Post website, is titled: "Why Are Atheists Generally Smarter Than Religious People?" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-are-atheists-generally-smarter-than-religious-people_us_59385ac8e4b0b13f2c6677d2)

I very much lean toward atheism.  Although I have to say since Trump was elected I say a prayer every night for our future.  I'm sure it's learned behavior from my upbringing.  Bill Maher's brilliant documentary in 2008 titled Religious really made me come to a conclusion.  But I still have a huge curiosity of the massiveness and the complexity of the universe.

So maybe I'm an atheist.  But I know for sure that I'm NOT smarter.  The algebraic question in this article baffled me.  I simply do not understand algebra or math word problems.

This article is a very curious discussion.  And a great movie!

Friday, June 9, 2017

RACHEL MADDOW is a goddess!

She is truly the best thing in the news and on television.  She is intelligent, articulate, humorous and gracious.  She is the hope for this country's future.  She is the voice of freedom.

She recently took a holiday for a week or two.  She has returned better than ever.  Forbes says: Rachel Maddow Is Now The Most Powerful Person In Cable.

Thanks to Maddow's brilliance, MSNBC is now the most-watched news.  People have caught on to the lies of Fox news and CNN who seems to do anything it can to outdo Fox.  Fie on them both.  MSNBC is the only television news for me.

See the news about MSNBC ratings at:  http://ew.com/tv/2017/05/22/msnbc-ratings/

I nominate Rachel Maddow for president in 2020!  She is my oasis in a the worst desert.

Also glad that MSNBC has retained Lawrence O'Donnell.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

HAM LOAF: A blast from the past

I've only eaten this dish once in the mid-80's when I made it.  The recipe came from my mother's Lubbock Women's Club cookbook.

I was living in Long Beach (Bixby Knolls) with my partner.  I was a flight attendant for Western Airlines (later Delta).  Bixby Knolls, at the time, was this idllic place surrounded by LA urban blight. This was in the mid-80's.  The names Bixby Knolls and Ham Lear seem to come from a similar time place, by the sound of it.

We cooked this meal in memory of one of my most beloved friends, Alan Lane Hayworth.  He died in the early days of AIDS.  Not a day goes by that I haven't thought of him.  He was taken too early.  I so wish he were here in today's world to share the crazy world we're currently living in.  Alan lived in Texas, where I'm from.  We would talk long distance (a concept that current generations have no clue) periodically to get caught up.  On one of our calls he would asked when I picked up the phone: "What are you doing?"  I answered "I'm making a ham loaf."  For some reason, Alan started howling with laughter and teasing me about "ham loaf."  I think he found my response and my life bit a bit too suburban housewife.

I haven't made this recipe since.  My mother and I made this a couple of nights ago.  We did so with smiles on our faces, thinking of my friend, Alan.  Gone, but never forgotten.

I think Ham Loaf is an old time thing.  But it is heavenly.  It puts a meat loaf to shame.  The menu is below.  I think that to make this a more modern recipe I'd decrease the sugar because it is too sweet.   The sugar is used to make a sauce.  At this point in my life, I am not a big fan of sweet entrees.  

I'll make this dish again.  And everyday, I'll remember my beloved friend Alan.

3/4 lbs. ground ham
3/4 lbs. ground pork
1/2 t. Salt
1/4 t. Pepper
1/2 C. Bread Crumbs
1/2 C. Milk
1 Egg
1 C. Brown Sugar (see comments above)
1/4 C. Vinegar
1/4 C. Water

Mix first 7 ingredients together and press in loaf pan.  Mix brown sugar, vinegar, water together and pour over meat.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven 1 hr. 10 min.

Pour off liquid & thicken slightly with flour.

Meat can be made into patties.

OPTIONAL: Just before serving put sauce and pineapple (optional--I can't stand it so omitted it) on loaf/patty and broil briefly.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

MOVIE: The Space Between Us

We watched this movie tonight and really enjoyed it.  It was an interesting premise that posed several interesting questions.  This post may be a spoiler.

The central character, Gardner Elliot (played by Asa Butterfield), is born on a space mission to Mars. His mother dies.  He survives and is brought up on Mars by a surrogate mother.  His birth was kept a secret.  At age 16, he escapes captivity gets back to Earth, but he is in a delicate state physically since he was born in space.

When he arrives on earth, he sought out a female computer message friend, Tulsa, (Britt Robertson) as well as the man that he thinks is his father.  Gardner and Tulsa fall love and go on an odyssey to find his father.

Gardner's body cannot take earth's gravity and is dying.  He wanted to die. He was saved and transported back to Mars.  If I were Gardner, I would have committed suicide like he tried to do.  Earth is really an awful place.  He ends up back on Mars which is home planet.  I would take a rocket to Mars in a New York minute to escape this stupid Trump/Republican world.  But alas, his love Tulsa, doesn't go with him.  The movies ends but hints that they will reunite and enjoy life on Mars.

This was an entertaining film.  I enjoyed it.  It is worth watching, if anyone is reading this.  Great cast which also includes B.D. Wong and Gary Oldman.  The end was particularly curious.  In my opinion, it suggests that Mars is a better alternative to earth.  I couldn't agree more.  Donald Trump and Republicans are the downfall of our society and our planet.

POSTSCRIPT:  I read an article online that discusses just the scenario that the movie portrayed.  It's worth a read:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4601270/The-100-mile-high-club-Scientists-study-sex-space.html