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Messages - Magic Wand

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Latest Flicks / Re: GRAVITY
« on: October 07, 2013, 07:04:08 pm »
Breakthrough Interviews: Astronaut Sandra H. Magnus ('Gravity')

(btw RH: Sandy went to Belleville East back in our day)

Latest Flicks / Re: Baggage Claim Review
« on: September 30, 2013, 03:48:56 am »
Co-sign on most of Emperor's comments, except,
Nary a surprise throughout the ENTIRE movie, made it a waste of time for me.

Latest Flicks / Re: The Butler
« on: September 14, 2013, 11:57:55 am »

It was so much better than I expected.
Such a dignified look at a neglected piece of American History.

Poignant and powerful.

Even Oprah didn't get on my nerves this time!

Go see it!  You will not be disappointed!

Please tell me what is so Wow-worthy about this movie, Wand. I really wish to know. No sarcasm or disrespect intended. I'm genuinely asking.

Well, to be fair, I was blissfully unaware of all the controversy surrounding The Butler prior to seeing it. 
However, I did enter the cinema with a chip on my shoulder, since Lee Daniels has disappointed me in the past....and Oprah's record in films is a little suspect (although I think she was stellar in Color Purple and did an great job with Colored Girls).

As I said previously, I think this was quite a dignified look at Black History we rarely see.  The Butler was based on a real life story, yet it wasn't a documentary.  So when I compare it to something like Red Tails, that caricatured the Tuskegee Airmen, I am delighted that Cecil Gaines' wasn't diminished into a Steppin' Fetchit type.  Cecil and all the other Black characters (with the exception of Terrance Howard's debaucherous character) were regally three dimensional throughout the movie.

As for the tragic opening scene, yes, it was outrageous.  It set the tone for and allowed us to see just a tiny bit of the harsh reality that our ancestors were forced to endure. 

Maybe it really does boil down to perspective.  Although impressive, I cannot relate to the heroic stories of your grands striking white folks and living to tell about it.  My parents and grands and great grand were southern born and bred in the deep south where fixing your mouth to think about saying something against a white person could get you killed with less than a blink of the eye.

That is the south depicted in this movie.
That south the Cecil Gaines survived, is the same south my parents survived.
I totally identify with the role of the militant son.  In many ways, growing up, I was just as militant and ungrateful that my parents worked for "the man" to put my ass through school and later university.  In some ways the The Butler is a mirror held up to my own family.

Latest Flicks / The Butler
« on: August 16, 2013, 08:08:55 pm »

It was so much better than I expected.
Such a dignified look at a neglected piece of American History.

Poignant and powerful.

Even Oprah didn't get on my nerves this time!

Go see it!  You will not be disappointed!

Education / Re: A7 is Beta testing NOW!
« on: August 04, 2013, 03:34:11 pm »

A7 is cloud-based, edutainment via story-telling, games and integrated learning lessons where kids learn language, math, science, art and more!  Teachers and parents may customize the content for their students.  Click here for details! 

Education / A7 is Beta testing NOW!
« on: August 04, 2013, 11:00:17 am »
Beijing-based, imedia has partnered with US-based,  Traveling Space Museum and is already Beta testing a cool new edutainment product in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Rio de Janeiro and soon Nairobi, Kenya!

Books / Re: What are we reading?
« on: August 04, 2013, 10:22:23 am »
Aside from Bradt's and Lonely Planet Travel Guides, I just picked up Mike Mullane's, Riding Rockets:  The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut .
It's a pretty entertaining memoir about NASA's astronaut program.  Mullane writes with candor about many of the personalities of NASA and spells out the emotional impact of being an ASCAN.  It's not the usual nuts-and-bolts, militaristic, boring ass approach to the program.  Mullane is quite engaging.  Check out a bit of him in this funny video

In the queue,

A Confederacy of the Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan (because it was recommended by an astronaut)

Books / Re: What are we reading?
« on: August 04, 2013, 10:11:58 am »
A friend recommended SuperFreakonomics, so I picked that up on Audio the other day.  I also got Daniel Pink's, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. 

The book I'm most excited about is Ed Dwight's (signed) memoir, Soaring on the Wings of a Dream.  The diminutive Ed Dwight was NASA's first Black astronaut candidate during the Kennedy administration.   The intriguing thing is that I've admired his incredible artwork for years and only recently discovered his significant connections to NASA and other programs and an eclectic array of friends we have in common. 

I look forward to finally meeting this fascinating man this summer!

Viral Player

did mr. dwight get to know Guion Buford?

Brutha Ed knows ALL of the FIRST African American astronauts as well as several others.
They revere him.
Unfortunately, he's officially persona-non grata in the NASA books, however, Charlie Bolden (current NASA Administrator) and Leland Melvin (Associate Administrator of NASA Education) acknowledge him whenever they can.

An official unprecedented Memo from Charlie, written during Black History Month, brought Brutha Ed to tears.  He sent me me a personal note of thanks for the hand I had in getting that Memo written.

Shortly after, I spent a day and half with Ed Dwight at his amazing studio and gallery in Denver.  He's such an outstanding story-teller, we started chatting at brunch, then completely missed dinner!  It was after dark when we left the studio!

A European filmmaker is planning a documentary of this unsung hero.

Meanwhile, he's got three major memorial projects underway in the United States, as well as two others in Africa.

And....just yesterday, at a pool party, I learned that we have yet another friend in common.

Latest Flicks / Re: Fruitvale Station
« on: August 01, 2013, 04:42:21 pm »
Just saw this film today.
The opening date was mysteriously delayed in my little ville.
Loved it.

In The News / Trayvon Martin's hoodie: Will it go on display at museum?
« on: August 01, 2013, 06:05:21 am »
SHOULD Trayvon's hoodie go on display?

(CBS News) A museum director at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., said she would be interested in acquiring a symbolic and recent piece of American history.

Trayvon Martin's hoodie - the sweatshirt he was wearing the night he was fatally shot by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla. - "became the symbolic way to talk [about] the Trayvon Martin case," Lonnie Bunch, the director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, told The Washington Post.

As legal proceedings have come to an end, the hoodie is likely back in the hands of the Sanford Police Department and Trayvon Martin's family will be given a chance to claim it.

Wall Street Journal art reporter Kelly Crow told CBS News that, despite the intrigue, it is unlikely that museums will be clamoring over the hoodie, due to the sensitivities surrounding the case.

"I think the art world probably wouldn't be lining up to display this tomorrow because it could be seen as a little exploitative," Crow said.

If put on display at the African American History Museum - which is currently under construction - the hoodie would join a collection that includes the handcuffs used on Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates as well as artifacts belonging to Harriet Tubman and date back to the days of slavery and the underground railroad, CBS News' Chip Reid reports.

Latest Flicks / Re: Oblivion!
« on: August 01, 2013, 06:01:00 am »
Glad I waited for the dollar fitty show.

Hard Choices / Re: Movie Marathon!
« on: May 04, 2013, 04:31:53 am »
Kill Bill
Maybe Lord of the Rings.

Hard Choices / Re: Denzel Washington or Sidney Poitier
« on: April 21, 2013, 05:31:42 pm »
Hmmmmm....good tough choice, Jefferson!

Hard Choices / Re: Palace or Castle!
« on: April 21, 2013, 05:30:22 pm »
I thought castle = palace.
Then I Googled some images and ....I still don't see the difference.
Someone please tell me the difference?

When I think of the two its usually


Thanks, Jesse.
I'm gonna choose palace.

Hard Choices / Re: Palace or Castle!
« on: April 21, 2013, 05:28:34 pm »

I thought castle = palace.
Then I Googled some images and ....I still don't see the difference.
Someone please tell me the difference?

The palace provides cleaner toilets than a castle.

HA!  Not if it's the Potala Palace!!

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