"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

About to comment here for the very first time?
Check Where'd my Comment go?!!! to avoid losing it.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

"Moby Dick":

... The inspiration.

In 1820, the whaling ship Essex was attacked and sunk by a whale. The story inspired Herman Melville to create his masterpiece, "Moby Dick".

Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea (2015) covers the Essex story ...

Originally scheduled for a March 2015 release, the studio decided to move it to 11 DEC 2015, to make it more prominent to those who make Academy Award nominations, indicating a very high degree of confidence that they have a winner here.

This is VERY definitely on my "must see" list.
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Saturday, September 19, 2015

If you remember THIS song, ...

... then, BOY, are you OLD.  :-)


While the video is obviously of fairly recent vintage, the song by The Four Lads was a #1 hit in 1953)
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Monday, September 14, 2015

THIS you can trust.

... the philosophy of movie director John Milius.
 
 
He was a great believer in taking care of things yourself.
 
Conan the Barbarian opens with the casting, forging and tempering of Conan's father's sword, and concludes with the father telling a very young Conan ...
 
"Fire and wind come from the sky,
"from the Gods of the sky.
"But Crom is your God,
"Crom, and he lives in the Earth."

"Once giants lived in the Earth, Conan.
"And in the darkness of chaos...
"they fooled Crom,
"and they took from him the enigma of steel."

"Crom was angered,
"and the Earth shook.
"And fire and wind struck down those giants,
"and they threw their bodies into the waters."

"But in their rage,
"the Gods forgot the secret of steel and left it on the battlefield."

"And we who found it...
"are just men.
"Not Gods. Not giants.
"Just men."

"And the secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery."

"You must learn its riddle, Conan.
"You must learn its discipline."

"For no one,
"no one in this world can you trust;
"not men, not women, not beasts."

(Pointing to his sword):
"THIS you can trust."

The script for Conan is credited to Milius AND to Oliver Stone, but what I've seen of his movies tells me that speech above is pure John Milius, and describes perfectly his philosophy of life,

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Warbirds

Incorporating videos in my posts is new to me.  I've been blogging since October 2009. on an HP computer (the "Mack truck" of computers) that I bought around the end of 2003. Being an XP machine, with limited memory and on a dial-up connection, dealing with videos was an exercise in masochism. The old machine died a few months ago (hard drive crash).

I replaced it with a refurbished Windows 7 machine (HP of course :-) and took advantage of my apartment complex having outlets installed for Comcast/Xfinity, and got a good deal for activating high-speed internet and digital phone service. Like graduating from a Volkswagen to a Porsche.

So now, I'm learning how to incorporate youtube videos, play with the HTML code to adjust the size they appear here, and how to download those videos onto my computer (as insurance against them being pulled from youtube).

I started with 2cellos, a wonderfully insane music video.

Next came Insight from The Third Man ... , about a wonderful little speech that Orson Welles added to the movie.

And, NOW, here's my latest attempts involving the subjects of the title of this post.  Hope you enjoy.

The Brits know how to put on a show. During the Falklands War (when Argentina invaded the British Falkland Islands in 1982), one of these made an EXTREMELY long range attack down there.
 On its return, it made a demo pass over an air show outside of Houston, where I got a wonderful look at it.
 

The only surviving Messerschmitt BF109E-4 still flying. It was shot down and belly landed in a field during the Battle of Britain in 1940. It is currently with the Russel Aviation Group, Ontario Canada.
PS - If you like the background music, it's from DAFT PUNK's soundtrack for TRON: Legacy (2010).
 
 
On 21 September 1953 a North Korean pilot defected, flying a MIG-15 jet fighter interceptor to Seoul , South Korea. In the process the pilot collected a $100000 reward which had been offered by the United States Government. The United States Air Force quickly set about conducting flight tests to determine the capabilities, and limitations, of the Russian designed aircraft

Among the three test pilots was USAF Major Charles "Chuck" Yeager, the first man to fly faster than sound in the Bell X1 in 1947.  I remember Tom Wolfe's book "The Right Stuff" mentioning that.

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Insight from The Third Man ...


The Third Man (1949) 

Out of work pulp fiction novelist, Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton), arrives in post war Vienna to accept a job offer from ex-school friend, Harry Lime (Orson Welles), only to hear of Lime's death from a peculiar traffic accident.

Holly finds that Lime has faked his death and is involved in black market penicillin (diluted) that results in many deaths. He finds Lime and confronts him.
 
Based on Graham Greene's novel, the movie is faithful to it, but it was Orson Welles who added THIS little insight ...
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