Saturday, October 11, 2008
For years now, I was aware of that fact that the deep red color in watermelon was nutrient-rich.
But, how or why, was unclear to me.
On a basic level, watermelon is healthy simply because of its high water content.
After all, people don't drink enough water during the course of the day to maintain proper hydration.
Well, the magical properties of the curious fruit have been revealed!
"The more we study watermelons, the more we realize just how amazing a fruit it is in providing natural enhancers to the human body," said Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center in College Station.
For starters, the bulky food stuff is rich in lypocene, beta carotene, and citrulline.
Of course, the good news about citrulline is that it relaxes blood vessels similar to the way Viagra does, too.
Just saw a posse of dudes dash out the door to the market to pluck a handful up.
Allegedly, Citrulline interacts with the body's enzymes when consumed in large quantities (bring back a dozen fellas!) and is transformed into arginine which is an important amino acid that benefits the circulatory system, too.
There are issues to address, though.
Citrulline is more highly-concentrated in the rind.
So, scientists are seeking the best method of extracting the wonder nutrient, to take advantage of its potent pulp.
It is wholly possible that a pill may be developed in the near future.
After all, there is another drawback, too.
If an individual consumes several slices in one sitting there may be a diuretic effect.
Yup, you may be dashing off to the mensroom, shortly after you've tested the boner effect.
Another good aspect?
Because the succulent fruit tends to be more alkaline than acidic, watermelon may help reduce acid indigestion.
As an added bonus, studies have also shown that deep red varieties of watermelon have displaced the tomato as the lycopene king, Patil said.
Almost ninety-two percent of watermelon is water, but the remaining eight percent is loaded with lycopene, an anti-oxidant that protects the human prostate and promotes skin health.
"Lycopene, which is also found in red grapefruit, was historically thought to exist only in tomatoes," the diet expert said.
"But now we know that it’s found in higher concentrations in red watermelon varieties."
A quick note in passing.
Watermelons store much better uncut if you leave them at room temperature.
Lycopene levels are sufficiently maintained even as watermelon rolls around on your kitchen floor.
But once you cut it, refrigerate.
What not spruce up the mouth-watering slices with a mix of cantaloupe, strawberries, and grapes?
Get creative in the kitchen and enjoy!
And kids like it, too...
Yesterday, Fox lodged an in-depth report on the Palin "incident" on their website - and consequently - a post I penned on the Sarah Palin probe based on allegations of "abuse of power" was linked to the Fox Network site.
As a result, there was a big surge in traffic to my blog at wordpress yesterday, as intrigued voters sought out clues on the Sarah Palin fiasco.
One whacko Palin supporter zipped off a message to me - obviously triggered by the fact he was angry with my searing criticism of the VP hopeful - and asserted in that communication that because Palin's camp rushed forward this past week (when all else failed to block the investigation) to conduct their own analysis of the events - that somehow - this established Palin was eager to resolve the issues.
"Don't you feel foolish now?" he snidely remarked in his skitzo communication.
Boy, does that guy need his head examined!
Especially in view of the facts that have unfolded.
On the contrary sir, I feel vindicated.
Since day one, I have been following the Palin story.
Weeks ago, I reported that Palin initially agreed to cooperate with the Legislature's investigation into the matter, until John McCain plucked her out of obscurity to be his running mate.
At that juncture - the stakes got higher - so Palin was obviously forced to re-think her tenuous position.
Then, Palin maneuvered her first flip-flop.
On the grounds that the investigation was turning into a political witch-hunt - manipulated by a handful of democrats with their own agenda - Palin began to vigorously resist the investigation.
When her aides - and husband Todd, too - were served with subpoenas to testify, for instance, they thumbed their noses at the proceedings and defiantly refused to obey the legally-binding court orders.
Desperate - her legal eagles scurried to file a lawsuit in Superior Court in the State of Alaska - in a bold-faced effort to block the proceedings.
Unfortunately (and no doubt due to the glaring facts in evidence) things went seriously awry for Sarah, thereafter.
For starters, the court dismissed the legal action filed by the stalwart Republicans, on the grounds that the Legislature was vested with full jurisdiction to carry out their probe on Palin.
On the heels of this ruling, investigators vowed to surge on with their fact-finding mission, interviews with key witnesses, and what have you.
Yes - it was made crystal clear to the Palin camp - that the investigation would go forward in spite of Palin's deceitful efforts to conceal facts and evidence - with the specific aim of saving her political reputation.
Today, it comes as no surprise, to hear that Palin has been found guilty on all the charges of "Abuse of Power."
First, it should be noted for the record, that investigators acknowledged that Ms. Palin had the authority (as Governor) to fire a State employee.
But, that was never the issue.
However, Palin supporters will put their own spin on that in the next few days, in an underhanded effort to effect damage control.
Ignore it, 'cause it amounts to a lot of smoke and mirrors.
No, it was the manner in which the "firing" was handled, the specious grounds on which the dismissal was undertaken, and the attempted cover-up afterwards that is the real crux of it all.
Right off-the-bat, it's obvious that Palin was guilty of distorting and misrepresenting the facts, in a dishonest ploy to validate her inappropriate unprofessional (illegal) conduct.
For example, from the get-go, Palin plied the bald-faced excuse that the Trooper was ripe for firing because he shot a female Moose without a license.
The investigators determined, however, that Palin did not disclose all the facts regarding the incident.
Palin neglected to point out that the Trooper was in the presence of his wife (who held a license)when the Moose was shot.
One of the investigators noted for the record - that if the Trooper was guilty of some illegal act on that occasion - his wife would be, too.
But, the woman in question was Palin's sister, so the Gov conveniently witheld the information.
That is just the tip of the iceberg, as they say in Alaska, when it comes to the kind of hypocrisy Palin is inclined to daily engage in at whim.
The former beauty Queen often utilized snatches of information to sway public opinion, but often held back on pertinent facts that would clearly establish the opposition's allegations of wrongdoing to be true.
For example, Palin was on-the-rag a lot over the Trooper's alleged misconduct, and gave the impression his wild unpredictable behaviour warranted a "firing".
On this premise, Palin took a leap, and asserted no wrongdoing for her attempted intervention.
However - the nervy little broad neglected to note for the record - that the Trooper had already been investigated - and summarily - disciplined.
In a nutshell, the issues she raised were neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things.
Notwithstanding the foregoing mind-boggling deceits - it was also determined by virtue of the full-scale investigation into the events - that Palin deliberately partook in actions officials warned were illegal.
For instance, Palin installed her husband (Todd Palin) to handle communications over the State Trooper matter, in spite of the fact a State Official made no bones about the fact Todd's dubious involvement was unethical.
That is why the investigators in the recent probe issued a finding - that the contacts were not only a breach of ethics - but tantamount to an "abuse of power".
Specifically, the report noted the following.
"Sarah Palin knowingly - as the term is defined in the (ethics) statutes - permitted Todd Palin to use the Governor's office and the resources of the Governor's office, including access to State employees, to continue to contact subordinate State employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired."
It is a matter of record that Todd Palin asked to review Wooten's personnel file, too!
Without doubt, Palin also crossed the line because the State Ethics Act holds that public officials have a duty of public trust that prevents them from attempting to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action.
Pursuant to State Law, twelve members of the Legislature's fourteen member Legislative Council, elected to deliberate on their findings in a closed-door session this past week.
After the better part of the day had elapsed, the Council voted unanimously to release the whopping 263 (!) page document to the public.
Curiously, the council is made up of 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats.
That kind of blows to smitherines the allegation by Palin that Democrats were strong-arming the proceedings against her, doesn't it?
Civil penalties for the offenses range from impeachment by the Legislature to a reprimand or fine in the sum of $5,000.00 by the State Personnel Board.
I can hear the protesters in the street crying out now.
Impeach! Impeach! Impeach!
If Palin has any conscience - or sense of decency - she'll bow out of the Presidential Race and give McCain the opportunity to dredge up an appropriate alternative candidate that won't try to hoodwink the American Voter - like Palin has tried to - since day one of her celebrated entrance onto the world stage.
Friday, October 10, 2008
The well-designed blog is maintained by best buds - Jenica Bergere and Brooke Purdy - who have incorporated myriad strands of video, audio, and plain text into the mix with surprising entertaining results.
To snag some attention for the site - the winsome twosome put on their "thinking caps" - and came up with a catchy hook to pique the interest of the folks who dole out the Bloggie Awards.
“Just because you’re a mommy does't mean you can’t talk smack.”
After taking a gander, there was a ceremonious drum roll, and the results were tabulated.
For "Visual Aesthetics" the site rated a "10".
Mother Load nabbed this top honor because the home page is crafted in vivid colors which complement each other well in the overall mix.
A photo of the two moms and their kids is worth - as they say - a thousand words!
In addition, salient eye-catching photos are scattered within the posts, to spice up the dialogue.
"User Friendliness" garnered a "10" as well.
Mother Load was given kudos for offering up links to all relevant content within the site in a straightforward manner that warmed up to the browser.
Ah, another "10", for actual reading enjoyment.
So, it wasn't just a lot of eye candy, eh?
The bloggies issued a word of caution, though.
For the prudish - "Mother" may be quite the load to swallow - without blushing at least!
Because the site is relatively new, blog radar scored the content at "8".
The blogger "Moms" advice on a handful of issues isn't too practical in the strictest sense, according to the critic reviewing the site.
For "Overall Experience", the Mother Load nudged up a tad higher to land a "9".
If you're a mother - tired of being labelled and stuck in a box - Mother Load is inclined to inspire those who are bogged down to get out, kick up their heels, and have some merriment in their otherwise dreary lives.
Are you a writer?
Is your writing inspired by an artistic sensibility?
Then, Modernist Press wants you!
Stephen Soucy is an author who just published a book of short stores - titled - "Nine Hundred & Sixty-Nine" - which were written by a handful of gay writers based on tales set in West Hollywood.
The introduction was penned by author - Patricia Nell Warren - who conjured up the gay-themed book (The Front Runner) set in the high-profile world of athletes.
Now that "69" is successfully under his belt, Mr. Soucy is putting out a call for submissions for his next illustrious project.
The collection of fiction intends to focus on short stories that are connected directly to - or inspired by — a work of art.
"For example, the piece should be inspired by a song, a painting, a museum, an architectural monument, a blueprint, a piece of writing—a play, novel, poem, or letter," Mr. Soucy noted enthusiastically, when we crossed paths recently at the West Hollywood Book Fair.
The art in question needs to be a major component of the story - a character - within the fabric of the story.
The idea may be inspired by a day-to-day event or completely fabricated.
The editor notes that "ART from ART" hopes that the spotlight will be thrown on new and established voices by virtue of the publication.
Mr. Soucy - an outgoing pleasant young man - wholeheartedly believes that linking the stories through art will entice readers.
Because the art will be featured on a page either at the beginning or the end of each story (a visual correlative that will enhance the experience) those interested in submitting for the project are forewarned in advance to keep this in mind so they can meet all the criteria of the competition.
Stories may be submitted (deadline December 1st) with a brief bio via email to Stephen Soucy.
The publisher ask that writers follow submission guidelines.
(Microsoft Word Document with 12-point font)
What might this image inspire?
Calling all playwrights!
The Alliance for Los Angeles Playwrights is sponsoring - Dramapocalypto - a special event for budding writers that is sure to be an inspiring schedule of dialogues between directors and dramatists at Cal State on Saturday, October 11th.
For example, bright and early at 11 a.m., a highly regarded gang of SoCal directors are slated to present brief presenations about what they're looking for in new scripts. That program will be followed up with an insightful discussion on important strategies for networking.
In the afternoon, there will be pointers on how to attack "hot button" issues in play material. A panel will offer up suggestions on how to make the storylines fly.
There will be other topics expounded on throughout the day; for instance, there will be a session on self-producing (the wave of the future?) and a focus on monologues.
The Dramatist's event at the Music Building at the Cal State campus closes out with the much-anticipated 10th Annual Playreading Festival and Monologue Slam Finals!
See 'ya there!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
This past week when I happened across a couple of clips on Lou Reed (who has been in concert lately on the cirucit) I recalled an off-beat encounter many years ago in New York City
A friend of mine - Roberta - used to reside at Sutton Place with her husband (an ad agency man) back in the seventies - and was an acquaintance of Lou in some capacity.
If I recall correctly, Roberta and I met at Max's Kansas City, a hot little "in" spot in the Village where the celebrity clientele used to throw chick peas at each other.
I was on an apartment search, and the party girl of the hour, gracously invited me to stay with her family for a few days until I got situated.
Roberta was pretty and petite and a former model.
I think her hubbie was pleased that we became friends because he felt I was a good influence on her.
While he was busy at work hours on end, Roberta - social butterfly extraordaire - was out mixing and mingling with the trendy jet-set.
She loved to shop at Bloomies (Bloomingdales).
In fact, if I am not mistaken, Roberta was the one who first introduced me to the rarefied air of the prestigious department store all the rage in NYC.
Her eclectic circle of friends consisted of fashion models, musicians, and groupies.
One evening, we were all lolling around the spacious living-room chatting each other up, when Roberta announced that Lou Reed was stopping in to - as a friend in Canada would charmingly put it - say boo.
Being the star-struck kid that I was in those days, my jaw dropped!
If you lived in the "Big Apple", chances are you caught a glimpse of wild man Reed, dashing about the dynamic city core.
But now, he was going to be a party guest in the same tony enclave as me!
After what seemed to be an agonizing wait, the buzzer rang at the door.
When Roberta strolled over to answer, the well-heeled doorman below simply uttered up two words.
In a few tantalizing moments, Lou Reed was striding through the beautifully-crafted door - with guitar in hand - dressed head-to-toe in an eye-popping orange leather outfit.
It was a startling knock-out image to drink in - especially when you consider that in the dead of winter without a month or two of sun - Lou's face was pale with a slight green tinge to it.
Just like the rest of us, uh huh.
Surprisingly, he was quite the down-to-earth dude!
At one point in the conversation, he whipped out his guitar and strummed it a bit.
When I noted I was pursuing a singing career - within minutes - Lou dragged me into a rock n' roll version of "Some Where Over the Rainbow".
Shortly after, he departed to meet a couple of social obligations 'round town.
Sadly, that was the last I saw of him.
"Walk on the Wild Side" (penned a short while later) included a lyric about a friend of mine - Andy Warhol star - Jackie Curtis.
In that tune, if you recall, Lou sang:
"Jackie was just speeding away."
Yes, Jackie thought she was James Dean for a day.
And, Little Joe?
Nope. Never once gave it away.
I wondered if our little encounter ever inspired him to write a line or two about me?
Favorite Lou Reed tune?
Satellite of Love!
Perfect Day (which I hope to record one day) is a close second!
Lou, if you catch this little tribute, howdy!
3 Stooges - David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed...
I just had the eeriest experience this past hour as I sought to transfer a post from blogspot to the wordpress site in respect to a memorial being held for John Lennon later today.
Just before noon - after receiving an e-mail communication from Yoko Ono reminding me that October 9th was the anniversary of John Lennon's birth - I scurried about to pen a post since the former wife of the Beatle was requesting that everyone pray for peace in memory of her late husband at 8 p.m. tonight.(October 9th)
So, it was necessary that I get cracking!
The blogspot post went off fairly well without much of a hitch.
In fact - I managed to post the news flash on the Internet quickly enough to alert fans - that Yoko will be at the Peace Tower tonight at 8 p.m. praying for peace in memory of John.
But - a series of mysterious (mystical?) events transpired - as I attempted to post the news release on wordpress!
Initially, I crafted the post - so that the e-mail message I included within it from Yoko - was outlined in red.
But, shortly after the body of the post was inserted into the edit bay, weird goings-on started to spook the heck out of me!
What was going down, for heaven's sake?
When I hit the publish button - for instance - I suddenly noticed the script in the entire body of the message was now all "red" - not just the section meant to highlight Yoko's message.
So, I hit the edit button, and sought to resolve the screw-ball issue.
After painstakingly initiating edits on the script I wanted "black", I proceeded to click on the publish icon.
The post was now split into distinct sections in red and black, and both were all out-of-whack. And, not in keeping with my aesthetic game plan at all!
Then, I noticed that something eerie was unfolding before me, too.
For some inexplicable reason, a rather large gap had erupted on the page - and started to stretch out-of-control with a mind seemingly of its own - between the last photograph in the layout and the contact information posted at the end of the page.
At this juncture - I strategically placed the cursor in the body of the post - and began hitting the backspace button to resolve the problem.
It should have been a snap to edit out the slip-shod space running down the page.
But, out-of-the-blue, the screen image distorted instead and went wide sideways!
Because the "save" buttom was now obscured, I was unable to wrap up the edit process.
In sum, I was being blocked from deleting the void-like space!
When I clicked on "home" to check the status of the published post - the gap was several inches in depth now - and posing quite the dilemma.
As I tried to fill in with data - the space not only got larger - but strange distortions started to "freeze" up the entire page to my great dismay!
At this juncture, I threw my hands up and deleted the post.
I was going to start from square one.
Then, something curious happened.
Suddenly, I noticed there was an unpublished post in the queue!
When I clicked on the link to review the body of the post, I shook my head in disbelief!
The John Lennon post was not only intact - but featured the body of my writing in black with Yoko's message in red - as originally intended.
As if by magic!
So, I published the post.
At this point, I thought I'd pen a post about the disturbing hour or so that I wrestled with the computer trying to fathom out the strange events surrounding the John Lennon incident.
And, sure enough, odd scenarios descended on me all over again.
At one point - just as I was about to finish writing this piece, for instance - it disappeared from the screen.
Poof, the post vanished into thin air.
Oh God, I thought. I've lost an hour's work.
After all, there wasn't any icon in the tool bar, signaling it had been minimized by error at the flick of a misguided finger or two.
I thought something was truly amiss, too, because I was forced to use my password and ID to gain access to the site all over again.
But, when I logged back on, a surprise was waiting for me.
Lo and behold - as I whispered a little prayer to myself (God, please let it be there on the dashboard) - I spied the ghostly post in the line-up waiting to be published - undisturbed!
Well, in view of what transpired this afternoon, I would have to surmise that John's spirit has been hovering around.
And, just maybe, was the good-humored musician playing games with me?
I'll get the message out.
Give Peace a chance.
And love to Yoko, you say?
Oh my God. Electric shivers just raced up and down my spine.
John's spirit is here in the room with me, undoubtedly!!!
Cup of tea?
Today, I received an e-mail from Yoko Ono.
Once again, Ms. Ono is asking that in memory of John Lennon - that everyone pray for peace - on the anniversary of his birth on Thursday October 9th (today).
In her message, Yoko says:
Please join me not only in remembering John on October 9th but also in spreading the message of peace. This is something that was so important for John - the fact that we could all work together for the positive good of our planet. He would have loved how we are all mobilizing ourselves in thought and action. It's time for action and the action is peace!
with love, yoko
9 Oct 2008
The IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will be illuminated tonight in Iceland and everyone is asked to join together and let the power of light and prayer become a collective expression of the desire for peace and harmony on the planet.
American bankers should give Spain the nod.
After all, so far - they've come through the financial crunch - unscathed.
"From the point of view of financial stability, the Spanish institutions have shown greater resistance capacity than in many other countries," Bank of Spain Governor - Miguel Fernandez Ordonez - proudly noted this past week.
However, Ordonez was quick to point out that bank income would drop as the collapse of a domestic housing boom and the global crisis slammed Spain's economy, which is heavily dependent on foreign financing.
Consumer spending has taken a dive as the number of people out of work in Spain hit an eleven-year high of 2.6 million in September.
Ordonez also added that Spain could suffer its first negative economic growth in fifteen years during the fall/winter season of 2008 and expansion could be lower than the government's forecast of one percent in 2009.
In spite of this, the government forecasts a rebound in the second half of 2009.
Spain's two biggest Financial Institutions - Santander and BBVA BBVA.MC> - have so far continued on strong legs.
On National Public Radio this morning, it was pointed out that one fourth generation banker in Spain managed to build assets at his financial institution in the past decade or two - and thus - was able to remain relatively calm and secure throughout the banking crisis in recent days.
What was the secret of his bank's success?
In a clipped no-nonsense style he revealed his motto which made a lot of fiscal sense.
"If you don't know the financial product, don't buy it," he warned to anyone within earshot.
On a parting note, he offered up additional sound advice.
"If you don't know the person, don't do business with them."
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
In the old days, if you wanted to make it in show biz, you had to strike out for Tinsel town.
Invariably, when all the young hopefuls from the Midwest (and beyond) arrived in town, they would hot-foot it up to Hollywood & Vine, which was the legendary hub of the industry.
The Brown Derby - constructed in the shape of a hat - was situated on the corner.
The upscale eatery was frequented by the upper echelon of the entertainment industry and a surefire place to catch a glimpse of a celebrity.
Of course, if you really wanted to get noticed, it would have been smarter to wile away an hour or two at Schwab's Restaurant (while sipping on a soda at the counter) down on Sunset and Crescent Heights a mile or so to the West.
As legend goes, that is where "sweater girl" - Lana Turner - was discovered.
When I first trekked into town many moons ago (gosh, that sure is an outdated expression) the grapevine wised me up to the fact that I would need an agent if I wanted to rustle up a job.
So, I zipped off a few of my head shots to a handful of reps I located on a list, provided by the accommodating Screen Actors Guild.
Because my feet were firmly grounded in reality, I didn't expect to land a top agent right away.
But, this was the place where dreams came true, right?
One day, out-of-the-blue, I got a call from a pleasant lady at Playboy Models inviting me in for an interview.
Although Playboy is famous today for erotic displays of nubile flesh in mens upscale magazines - at that time - the company also ran a legitimate modelling concern separate from Heff's nefarious late night activities.
Some of the locals may recall that Playboy used to have offices up on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.
In fact, a large Playboy logo screamed out from the top of a skyscraper for all the civilized world to see, before Hugh moved on to spanking new facilities.
Because I was a fashion model in Canada before I arrived in California, my publicity stills reflected a flair for posing, I guess.
So, I was signed on a - "let's see how it goes" - basis.
The phone rang one day, and my agent - gee, I luv saying that - asked me how my hands looked.
I glanced down at my grubby limbs - and like a true actor in desperate need of a job - responded without hesitation.
"Oh, they're great hands. Trust me."
At this point, the booker noted that a photographer was shooting a product shot for a wrist-watch and that he was in need of a male model.
Within minutes I was trundling off down the street on my way to the assignment!
As it turned out, the shutterbug was fairly successful in the advertising business, which was reflected in his extravagant well-equipped studio.
Within minutes after I arrived, a shapely blond model in a skimpy negligee, strode out of the dressing room and literally took my breath away.
As this juncture, the photographer began to set up the shot.
The watch was a novelty item.
When the wearer hit a button on the side of the timepiece, the word - "Hi" - appeared on the face.
If the party clicked a second time, the digital message read: "I love you".
A third click, throbbed in passionate red lettering: "Let's Fu**".
A new twist on the old pick-up line!
The makers figured that if a guy noticed a sexy babe in a bustling nightclub, he might be able to break the ice with the earthy gag.
Sounds like something a lounge lizard would wear, eh?
The photographer directed me to stand next to the model and place the tips of my fingers into her "panties" in such a way that the watch faced the camera and was easy to "read" on-camera.
Unfortunately, when I first slipped my fingers into her silky undergarments, they tended to poke out at the side and cause unsightly wrinkles to erupt in the silky material.
Ah, this was a "look" that didn't sit well with the photographer.
"Can't you put your fingers straight down into the crotch area," he asked in the most indelicate fashion.
As I started to follow his directions, I suddenly found my fingertips on the lip of her pu**y!
I got flustered and started to apologize profusely, but the model calmed me.
"It's okay. I'm used to this."
Ah, a seasoned pro!
Now, everything went like - um - clockwork.
The photographer was inclined to take a few more shots so there would be a variety of stills for the client to choose from.
So, we moved on to another set-up.
Now, I was instructed to squat behind the model - slip my hand between her legs - and pull the panties down a tad, with the watch facing forward to the lens.
Although it was awkward, and a bit erotic in nature, I carried out his detailed instructions to the "T".
I signed off on the billing invoice and headed out the door elated.
When people ask me what my first job was in Hollywood, I respond without batting an eye.
"I got twenty-five bucks for a hand job."
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Digg.com...Duh, Dude! Overzealous scoopers vie for big time! Jostling newsies (?) scratch for elbow room without much to offer!
In a post last week I reported on "The Saint" - a blogger who twisted and distorted facts in a post about a Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin - which was summarily submitted to "Digg" for instant glory, I guess.
A Los Angeles Times writer sniffed around a bit - and didn't think that the wild expose passed the smell test - so he engaged in a little sleuthing of his own to dredge up the truth.
Ah, the Saint fessed up.
In view of the fact he was using an online moniker (and his true identity was not known) what did the phantom post-it bandit have to lose?
Meanwhile, his unfounded allegations shook up a few reputations, and along the way caused many media types who prowl a myriad of scintillating sites for easy prey, to quote the insightful writer at the Times.
"Be careful what you swallow on the Internet."
The Times writer also made a passing remark that a post submitted to digg.com - if made popular by digg members - could end up rustling a few hundred-thousand new readers to blog enthusiasts' sites.
So, I decided to investigate "digg", to figure out what the fuss was all about.
I signed up, submitted a story or two, and waited for the sharks to bite.
Right off-the-bat, a post about Sarah Palin started to gain momentum - but as news flashes spun the story off into a new direction - the hits dropped off.
Within a day the item was old news, so it was understandable.
That's an integral part of the problem with digg.com.
Unless a news feature is posted right away for publication - it may become untimely - at the blink of an eye.
So, for starters, that is a big flaw in the digg scheme of things.
After a post is submitted (and before it sees the light of day) digg staff wait for members to vote on whether they "dugg" an article - to likewise determine - if the piece will nab a hot spot on the main digg site.
By that time - the story may have become so moldy, old and gray, or just plain long in the tooth - that not even the most nostalgic gossip monger would be likely to save the little ditty for his scrapbook.
Gosh, what a waste of energy for a writer!
Notwithstanding - I noticed that digg writers seemed to be tethering at the bit to snatch up every little news tid-bit that wormed its way off the wire - for packaging in a post to be zipped off to digg.
So many writers were jumping on the same story on the occasion that I cruised the site - it made me wonder - isn't there enough original material out there to satisfy the feeding frenzy?
Everyone appeared to be writing about the Palin subpoenas, the guy who got shot wearing an Obama T-shirt, McCain's attack on opponents, and blah blah blah.
The reports that were posted were run-of-the-mill, too.
I rarely came across any originality, outstanding news reporting, or stellar award-winning literary style.
I sh** you not.
Part of the problem with digg is that the writers are all so busy vying for hits and popularity, that they've overlooked the obvious.
It's important to focus on the craft of writing, the turn of a phrase, a structure that makes sense in the new-age realm of "anything goes" journalism in the fast-paced electronic media age.
Also, because the so-called "writers" are competing with each other, I noticed a bit of professional jealousy.
A story or two that deserved mention or credit was ignored by digg members.
Did the talented young upstart show them up for what they were?
While I do believe that competition is healthy - at digg.com the whole process of writing and submitting and fielding responses - may be a waste of time for serious writers seeking to strike out on their own and attain credibility in the legitimate world of news reporting.
Especially when you consider that a man is often judged by the company he keeps.
At digg, stories were not always factually correct, often amounted to more opinion than news, and - for the most part - were awkward and amateurish in style.
As to graphics and supporting images to bolster the quality of the posts - in most cases - there usually weren't any to speak of to stir up the sensibilities.
The blah leading the bland!
Digg may be dugg by many, but didn't make it into the dug out, with moi.
Didn't digg dugging at all, dude!
Occasionally, I stop into the cafeteria at UCLA around lunch-time for a snack.
In view of the recent outbreak of a stomach virus at USC, one can't be too careful, so I checked out the offerings for lunch quite carefully.
At one of the server's outlets - there was an example of a lunch-plate special consisting of salmon, potatoes, vegetables, and corn on the cob - on display.
But, how would it be delivered up "when and if" I chose to order it?
So, I asked the middle-aged woman behind the counter - who usually trolls around the cafeteria early in the morning with a sour pout on her face looking everyone up and down with disdain - if the lunch special would look as good as it did on display when it arrived on my plate.
She plunked a piece of salmon on a plate, then asked me a question.
"Would you like potatoes with that?"
Was I missing something here?
I paused a moment.
"Toast or roll," she continued without batting an eye.
At this juncture, I politely noted that she didn't answer my question.
"No. I didn't," she replied with this dumb look on her face.
So, I waited for the response.
The lights were barely on, but most certainly, no one was at home.
"Aren't you going to answer my question," I politely prodded her.
"Well," she snidely remarked, "It would just be my opinion."
Whoa - Nellie!
God forbid she should be required to offer that up.
Does that cost extra?
Yes, this screw-ball old gal - with the blank stare and burnt out aura - was working on a counter for three or four bucks an hour.
And, for some inexplicable reason, she was under the mistaken impression that she was a philosopher!
Ah, it's a sign of the times.
People are working in jobs they can't stand, displaying the worst attitudes imaginable - and to boot - are taking out their failures in life on the customer.
Give us a break.
If you hate your job, quit.
The world doesn't owe you a living, lady.
Schwarzenegger...naked to the world! Renters & homeowners enraged that tax breaks failed to make cut in State Budget! Arnold must go!
Quite a few renters and homeowners were in a state of shock when they opened their mail boxes this past week and found a curt letter from Sacramento informing them that they would not receive a check for their annual tax break.
According to the communication, Governor Schwarzenegger axed those funds from the State budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year ahead.
Homeowners and renters are outraged!
Many were counting on those funds to get them through a financial crisis that has been gaining momentum and negatively impacting citizens around the globe.
Unlike George Bush (for once, I say "bless him") who sought an emergency rebate for taxpayers around the country earlier this year, Schwarzenegger essentially thumbed his nose at California voters.
"Let them eat cake," appeared to be his response when he signed the budget into effect last week.
Notwithstanding, many Californians are shaking their heads over the costly waste of Government resource arising from the Governator's refusal to sign into Law a handful of "bills" that were presented to his office last week.
A handful of the measures wormed their way through various levels of government - at which point - they were approved by the Senate.
The whole process was a costly venture footed by the taxpayers of this great state.
In view of the fact a handful of the bills were worthy of his signature, it boggles the mind to think that at a time when fiscal responsibility is of paramount importance in the Government sector, he chose to veto the measures.
All that moolah down the drain!
I was going to jokingly point out that I hoped Arnold's di** was bigger than his brain - for his and Maria's sake - but a glance at the photo above says it all in my estimation.
For the record, informed sources tell me, he's not even a "grower".
Now that he is naked to the world, I think it is high time the voting public sent the dope-smoking cigar-wielding jar-head back to Austria.
Let him yodel, and beat his sagging chest, somewhere else!
Don't Bogart that joint, Arnold...
Monday, October 6, 2008
July 7, 2008 by julianayrs 08年7月7日由julianayrs
Recently, I attended a screening of a retrospective of a young director’s work, and found myself comparing the artist’s filmic style to Hitchcock’s - a compliment - to be sure.最近，我参加了一个放映了回顾一个年轻的导演工作，并发现自己比较艺术家的电影风格，以希区柯克的-是一种恭维-确定。
What makes a film decidedly Hitchcockian in nature?是什么让电影果断Hitchcockian性质呢？
The way a location is used, for instance.方法的位置使用，例如。
Hitchcock was a firm believer that if a director had a distinctive setting - it should be dramatized and become indigenous to the whole picture - not just remain in the background.希区柯克是一个坚信，如果一个主管有独特的设定-它应该是戏剧，成为土著人的全貌-不只是留在背景。
An exemplary example of this was in the intense drama, “Foreign Correspondent”.堪称典范的例子，这是在激烈的戏剧， “外国记者” 。
The tale was set in Holland.故事设在荷兰。
What was the prominent characteristic in the landscape the auteur chose to weave into the storyline?是什么突出特点的景观的导演选择编织成的故事？
Ah, the windmill.啊，风车。
In one key scene, the character astutely notices that when his hat blows off - it does so in the direction of the wind - the opposite way the arms of the distinctive Dutch landmark were turning.在一个关键的现场，敏锐的性质告示，当他的帽子打了-它这样做的风向-相反的武器荷兰的独特标志的转折点。 It suddenly dawns on the lead character that the odd reaction to this natural force of nature is a secret signal to conspirators.这突然到来的主角是古怪的反应自然力量的性质是一个秘密的信号阴谋。
Pure genius on the part of Hitchcock, eh?纯粹的天才的一部分，希区柯克，嗯？
Placing an ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances was a common element of Hitchcock’s scenarios, as well.把一个普通人在特殊情况下是一个共同的因素希区柯克的情景，以及。
In - “The Man Who Knew too Much” - an ordinary man from Indianapolis is vacationing in Morocco when his son is kidnapped.在-“的擒凶记” -一个普通的人从印第安纳波利斯是在摩洛哥度假时，他的儿子被绑架。
In - “The Wrong Man” - Henry Fonda is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit.在-“错误的人” -亨利方达被逮捕的犯罪行为，他不承诺。
Also, Janet Leigh is an ordinary secretary whose plans are violently interrupted by a schizophrenic, in the outstanding spine-tingler - “Psycho”.此外，珍妮特李是一个普通的秘书，其计划是粗暴打断了精神分裂症，在悬而未决的脊柱，心惊肉跳-“心理” 。
Mistaken identity (or the loss of one) was a common plot device in the English director’s films, too.误区身份证（或损失之一）是一个共同的阴谋装置在英文导演的电影，太。
For example, in “North by Northwest” the lead character Roger Thornton is mistaken for a non-existent CIA agent.例如，在“北西北”的主角罗杰桑顿是错误的不存在的中央情报局特工。
In “Vertigo” - in a clever twist - the intriguing plot revolves around actor James Stuart’s investigation of a woman (Kim Novak) and her elusive identity.在“眩晕” -在一个聪明的扭曲-耐人寻味阴谋围绕着演员詹姆斯斯图尔特的调查一名女子（金诺瓦克）和她的难以捉摸的身份。
Hitchcock also leaned toward the use of suspense over surprise in his films.希区柯克还俯身对暂不使用的惊喜在他的电影。
If he relied on a jolt last minute, the director felt that was tantamount to simply banging the audience over the head with frightening things.如果他依靠颠簸最后一分钟，导演认为，无异于仅仅敲打观众的头与可怕的事情。 Not very inventive, according to Hitch.不是很发明，根据故障。
With the tools of suspense, on the other hand, the legendary director argued that he could reveal things to the filmgoer which the characters in the film did not know, and then artfully build tension as the characters began to learn the truth as it unfolded.随着工具的悬念，另一方面，著名的导演认为，他可以揭示事物的filmgoer的字符在影片中不知道，然后巧妙地建立紧张的字符开始了解真相，因为它展开。
He was also fascinated by imagery and often used repeating themes.他还迷上了图像和经常使用重复的主题。
For example, stairwells often played a central role in Hitchcock dramas.例如，楼梯间往往发挥着核心作用，希区柯克电视剧。
In Hitchcock’s first movie - “The Lodger” - he tracked a suspected serial killer’s movements on a staircase with diabolical effect.在希区柯克的第一部电影-“的房客” -他跟踪一宗怀疑连环杀手的变动对楼梯与凶残的效果。
Meanwhile, in “Psycho” several staircases were featured prominently; on the path up to the Bate’s mansion and at the entrance to the fruit cellar, for instance.与此同时，在“心理”的楼梯有几个突出;的道路上到贝特官邸并在入口处的水果窖，例如。
And, who could forget the actual movie with the image in the title, “39 Steps”?而且，谁可以忘记的实际影片中的形象的名称， “ 39步” ？
“39 Steps” is arguably Hitchcock’s best British film. “ 39步”无疑是希区柯克最好的英国电影。
The compositions on-screen were remarkable, too; undoubtedly influenced by the great German and Russian filmmakers of an earlier era.组成屏幕上的显着，太;无疑影响的伟大的德国和俄罗斯电影的早期时代。
The camera often angled up and down, cut off faces, and framed action in highly-unusual stunning and dramatic ways.该相机往往直角向上和向下，切断的面孔，并制定行动高度不寻常的惊人和富有戏剧性的方式。 A style of filmmaking European directors were well-known for.风格的欧洲电影导演是众所周知的。
Hitchcock also got a perverse thrill out of taking audiences on a voyeuristic roller-coaster ride.希区柯克也有有害刺激的考虑受众的偷窥过山车旅程。
In “Rear Window”, as James Stewart’s character stares across the courtyard at his adversary for most of the film - without the subject being none-the-wiser - the filmgoer titters over the intrigue on the sidelines.在“后窗” ，因为詹姆斯斯图尔特的性格盯着整个院子在他的对手的大部分电影-无主题被无的，明智的-在f i lmgoerti tters的阴谋的观望态度。
Then, he used an unexpected element of surprise to jolt the viewer out of their seats.然后，他用一个意想不到的出奇不意，以颠簸观众离开自己的座位。
The audience is thrown - and literally gasps out loud - when Raymond Burr’s character suddenly ( without warning) turns his face to the camera and pointedly asks,观众投掷-和字面大声惊叹-当雷蒙德伯尔的性格突然（不含警告）把他的脸的摄像头和尖锐地问，
“What do you want of me?” “你要什么的我吗？ ”
In another instance in “Psycho”, the camera zeroes in on a hotel-room window, through which the audience is first introduced to Marion Crane and her divorced boyfriend, Sam Loomis.另一个例子是在“心理” ，相机零在一家酒店房间窗口，通过它的观众是第一次介绍给马里昂起重机和她离婚的男友，三卢米斯。
The characters are partially undressed.人物部分脱光衣服。 Subsequently, Marion and Sam, ended up titillating the filmgoers - who surmised from snatches of clues in the frame - that the two characters had been engaged in a passionate sex romp on their lunch break.随后，马里昂和萨姆上涨titillating的电影-谁推测从片段的线索在画面-这两个字符已进行了热情的性别欢蹦乱跳的午餐休息。
Later, in the same psychological thriller, Norman Bates delights in secretly watching Marion undress through a concealed peephole in the wall.后来，在相同的心理惊悚片，诺曼贝茨在秘密欢乐观看透过马里昂脱衣隐蔽窥视孔壁。
Hitchcock’s films were regarded as highly sexed.希区柯克的电影被视为高度夸大。
And, the English director often dealt with taboo subjects.此外，英文导演往往处理的禁忌议题。
Sometimes, due to the conventions of the day, sexuality was cloaked in a symbolic fashion.有时，由于公约的一天，性行为是掩盖在一个象征性的方式。 For example, in one classic scene, the shot cuts abruptly from two aroused lovers to a train entering a tunnel in the next.例如，在一个典型的现场，突然开枪削减从两个引起爱好者的列车进入隧道在未来。
In fact, Hitchcock found a number of ways to convey sexuality without depicting it graphically; for instance, he inferred explicit sexual craving with the passionate consumption of food.事实上，希区柯克发现了一些方式转达性行为没有它生动地描绘，例如，他推断出明显的性渴求与热情消费的食品。
In an amusing scene in “Psycho”, Anthony Perkins carries on a conversation with Janet Leigh while one of his hands strokes a dead animal and the other lingers on his crotch suggestively在一个有趣的场景在“心理” ，安东尼柏金斯进行对话与珍妮李之一，同时他的手杆死动物和其他不散他的裤裆联想
When it came to casting, the celebrated director was a firm believer in selecting unknowns for lesser roles, and for good reason.当它来铸造，著名导演坚信选择未知较轻的作用，并有充分理由的。
Sure, he understood the need for star recognition and box office appeal and the value of high-calibre actors to the success of a film; but, felt the smaller parts - the cameo gems - should not be inhabited by faces that were recognized by the movie-going public at the local theatre.当然，他的理解，需要承认和明星的票房吸引力和价值的大口径者成功的一部影片，但是觉得较小的部分-在客串的瑰宝-不应该居住的面孔，是公认的观众在公众地方戏剧。
This approach lended more credibility to the project, he felt.这种做法lended更可信的项目，他认为。
In his own words, he noted,用他自己的话说，他指出，
“The best casting man is the novelist; his principals are always new, unfamiliar.” “最好的铸造人是小说家，他的校长总是新的，不熟悉的。 ”
An old-familiar face popping up in a scene in some foreign far-off locale would jar the sense of reality to the audience, he conjectured.一个老熟悉的面孔突然出现在现场一些外国遥远的地方将罐子的现实感给观众，他猜想。
How he achieved his effects on screen were legendary, too.他是如何取得他的影响在屏幕上有传奇色彩了。
The infamous shower scene in “Psycho” was painstakingly achieved by facilitating the head of a nude - and a girl in full figure - with the woman doing the stabbing.臭名昭著的淋浴场景在“心理”是来之不易便利的负责人裸体-和一个女孩全部的数字-与女人做刺伤。
Hitchcock shot a lot of the nude scenes in slow motion because it was important to have the breast covered by an arm at a crucial moment.希区柯克打出了大量的裸体镜头慢动作，因为这是很重要的是，乳腺癌所涵盖的手臂处于关键时刻。 Later, HItch sped up the footage for the final cut.后来，顺利加快了画面的最后切断。
There were an amazing seventy-eight cuts used in a short forty-five second sequence.有惊人的78削减用于在很短的四十五秒序列。
His 1958 film “Vertigo” contains a camera trick that has been imitated and re-used so many times by filmmakers that it has become known as the Hitchcock zoom.他1958年影片“眩晕”包含了相机伎俩已经模仿和重复使用过很多次的电影，它已成为被称为希区柯克变焦。
Although famous for inventive camera angles, Hitchcock generally avoided points of view that were physically impossible from a human perspective.虽然著名的发明照相机的角度，希区柯克通常避免的观点是实际上不可能从人权的观点。
For example, he would never place the camera looking out from inside a refrigerator.例如，他决不会摆放摄像机望着从冰箱。
This was a device to draw the audience into the film’s action, in his opinion.这是一个设备提请观众进入电影的行动，在他的意见。
During an interview conducted by Francois Truffaut a few years ago, Alfred Hitchcock said,在接受采访时进行了弗朗索瓦特吕弗在几年前，希区柯克说，
“What is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out?” “什么是戏剧，毕竟，但生活的枯燥位切断了？ ”
Years ago, I had a funny experience near the set of “Frenzy” (a film about a necktie murderer) in London, England.多年前，我有一个有趣的经验，附近的一套“疯狂” （电影的领带杀人犯）在伦敦，英国。
I noticed some cameras, and a lot of activity in the street, and asked someone what was going on.我注意到一些相机，以及大量的活动在大街上，有人问发生了什么事情。
A passer-by noted that Hitchcock was filming his latest movie.一名途人指出，希区柯克拍摄的最新影片。
Well, I thought to myself, Hitchcock is such a great director; with an eye for talent.好吧，我想，希区柯克是这样一个伟大的导演;着眼人才。 Maybe I should watch from afar - who knows - I might get discovered.也许我应该从远处观看-谁知道-我可能会发现。
A few minutes later, there was an announcement over a loud speaker,几分钟后，有人宣布了扬声器，
“Would the man in the white shirt get out of the shot?” “如果该名男子在白色T恤走出开枪？ ”
Shame-faced, I realized it was me, and moved on.羞耻面，我意识到这是我和转移。
Oh well, that’s show business.噢不错，这表明业务。