Category Archives: Entertainment

The Name is Lieber – Stanley Lieber

Stan_Lee_convention_photo_comic_con This is one of those times in life where we have the death of someone many recognized as a cultural icon. A creative talent who has launched an era of fictional characters in graphic art, that has developed into huge movie entertainment.

Fantastic_Four_1961_1st_comics

Author ~ copyright owner
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Stan Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber, on December 28, 1922 in New York City from Romanian-born Jewish immigrant parents. Lee had one younger brother, Larry Lieber born October 26, 1931.

“I grew up in New York City during the Depression. My earliest recollections were of my parents talking about what they would do if they didn’t have the rent money. Luckily, we were never evicted. But my father was unemployed most of the time.”

Most of us that knew anything about Stan Lee, learned it from the emerging array of super hero comic books, primarily created in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, from the collaborative efforts of Stan Lee, his brother Martin, and some of the soon to become well known names of graphic artists from that period. A list of collaborators include the following:

Jack Kirby
Steve Ditko
John Romita Sr.
Don Heck
Bill Everett
Joe Maneely

Marvel branding began in 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four, with other comic hero titles soon to follow.

The comic books looked much like other published graphic art from that period, but the contents, especially the characters, were very much like average people. It’s rival, DC Comics, a much larger publisher at that time, kept their characters in a different less relatable world. Communism wasn’t mentioned, and international conflicts were kept to a minimum. Sure, they had plenty of aliens, and fiends, but the individuals described in Marvel showed you their flaws, and emotions, and Communism. This caught the attention of young, as well as many college aged readers.

Stan_Lee_in_front_of_his_creations_70sStan Lee, was a classic liberal in the sense that he understood what it was like to be downtrodden, maligned, have personal problems, but all the while possessing a moral compass. He wasn’t afraid of tackling the larger social issues, including drugs, violence and racism. I think this statement, written about 50 years ago, is at the heart of what made Marvel Comics, more than just graphic art entertainment with simple stories. He posted his own readership columns in the back of the comics, which gave us insight as to who he was as a person.

Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them—to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater—one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen—people he’s never known—with equal intensity—with equal venom.

Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race—to despise an entire nation—to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill out hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God–a God who calls us ALL—His children. ~ Stan Lee

Stan Lee’s characters had feet of clay, his characters were sometimes created from ancient mythic deities, but they too weren’t infallible. Despite the many villains, and dire situations, a common decency existed among his created heroes. Sometimes, even the bad guys & gals, weren’t so bad either.

Spiderman_origins_1

Spider-man Created by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko

One of his famous comic character quotations ⋅⋅⋅  “With great ººpower comes great responsibility” ⋅⋅⋅ It has a simple meaning; if you have the ability to do something, make sure that you do it for the good of others.

Charitable Foundation
The Stan Lee Foundation was founded in 2010 to focus on literacy, education, and the arts. Its stated goals include supporting programs and ideas that improve access to literacy resources, as well as promoting diversity, national literacy, culture and the arts.

StanThe ManLee [ December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018 ] He will be missed.

Ownership & Trademark credits

Parent company Marvel Entertainment, LLC
The Walt Disney Company©
All rights of ownership to characters & images ™ belong to them.

Why I Hate Automotive Tech

There comes a time when the development of cars, computers, and so-called electronic convenience, become anything but that.

Fixing my own cars, and occasionally for others, I’ve witnessed this march to built-in catastrophic entrapment for several decades… and it ain’t pretty.

There was a time when an engine could be removed, valves replaced, seats ground, pistons pulled, cylinders rehoned, rings replaced, transmissions removed and rebuilt, and you could continue to use the same car for many years. If you want to keep them now, it’s going to be an expensive proposition.

Then came the need for pollution control systems. Not satisfied with pumping in more air to burn waste gases, nor using expensive palladium catalytic converters on the exhaust. That wasn’t enough. Let’s put in some sensors, and computerize the whole process of bringing in air, swirling it about with computer timed fuel injection and variable valve timing. Then fart it out the back with sensors that constantly sniff for emissions, only to feedback through the computer, hey – you’re giving me gas!

As if that wasn’t enough, they installed infotainment systems into these supposed smarter cars. Only one problem with that, no make it two. First the drivers need updates, and that wasn’t happening. Knob fiddling was one thing, but glaring at a screen which not only controls the interior temp, your favorite radio stations, the last 500 songs you cleverly downloaded, and also gives you reroute instructions past the 15 car pile up you need to avoid to get to work.

What Are The Usual Causes For Computer Failure in Vehicles

car-computer-insideNot only are computers failing with ever-increasing frequency, due to downsizing all those millions of tiny micro junctures, which makes them more susceptible to cycles of heat and cold. They now control your 9-speed automatic transmission which is arguing with your engine management systems on what the right fuel-air combination, meshing with the right gears for your on and off the acceleration because you couldn’t make up your mind on which of the 6 lanes of traffic to travel.

Mercedes, among several later manufacturers, has built-in systems to detect when you’ve listened to way too many conference calls and are now too drowsy to stay in your lane. They’ve also added another computer to check that your eyes are scrutinizing that fancy whiz-bang infotainment system instead of driving, and are about to plow into the little old person crossing the road in their 4 wheel drive, electronically controlled wheel chair. It has now applied the computer management system for your brakes, and detected the G-force to be sufficient to maim you, has launched 3 out of 7 possible air bags to cushion your low earth orbit.

One last system has been called upon to maintain your ride stability system which manages ride height on all 4 wheels, keeping you level, while bearing down on previously mentioned senior citizen, having a cardiac event in front of your just in time stopped car.

Never mind, the smart 4 wheel drive scooter has called 911 to get her or him the assistance they need.

Meanwhile, you will have gone through a pile of cash or credit to replace the inflated airbags and clean up the interior of your car, contaminated by all the internal special powder they put in those airbags, combined with your sudden urge that has stained the leather in your seat. After you receive the hospital bill for the face and neck burns from the airbags, you will visit your doctor for a prescription of Nitrazepam.

infotainment_cntrThe advance of technology has repealed radio / cassette knobs, in favor of a computerized lit entertainment screen which beckon you to gaze at it, instead of attentive driving.

BTW, you’ll need a new infotainment system after you have smashed your knuckles into it when your computer determined you had to stop extra fast because of the kitty running across the road in front of your collision avoidance equipped, modern car. evil_mask_sml

Oscar Predictions 2016

Oscars_2016_heading_smallMy 2016 Oscars predictions. Lets see how badly I do.spot light

  • BEST PICTURE – The Martian
  • BEST DIRECTOR – Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
  • BEST ACTOR – Matt Damon, The Martian
  • BEST ACTRESS – Cate Blanchett, Carol
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Sylvester Stallone, Creed
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
  • BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM – Inside Out
  • BEST FOREIGN FILM – A War
  • BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Straight Outta Compton
  • BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – The Martian
  • BEST COSTUME DESIGN – The Danish Girl
  • BEST ORIGINAL SONG – “Writing’s on the Wall” – Spectre
  • BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY – What Happened, Miss Simone?
  • BEST DOCUMENTARY (short) – A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
  • BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING – The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
  • BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • BEST FILM EDITING – Star Wars The Force Awakens
  • BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – The Hateful Eight
  • BEST SOUND EDITING – Star Wars The Force Awakens
  • BEST SOUND MIXING – Mad Max Fury Road
  • BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – Ex Machina
  • BEST SHORT FILM (animated) – We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
  • BEST SHORT FILM (live action) – Stutterer

Note: It turns out, my guesses were way off the mark. My correct choice tallied only 8. Good thing I’m not a betting man.