Thursday, October 28, 2010

Charlie Chaplin Time Travel Outdoes World Series Game 2 Online

The World Series Game 2 is history and the San Francisco Giants clobbered the Texas Rangers 9 to 0, getting two games up in the best-of-seven series for the baseball championship. But would you believe that online, the MLB Championship is being out-searched by Charlie Chaplin and the matter of time travel?


Take a look at this video called Charlie Chaplin Time Travel:

It claims to show, enhanced, the image of a woman walking and using a cell phone in 1928. The movie was taken at the premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s movie The Circus in 1928. It's in front of Graumann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Is it a hoax?

There are many people trying to figure out the video and others saying it's proof that time travel is possible and there are time travelers.  Others say she's not really there and it's a hoax, pointing to her shadow detail in the film.

But this blogger has another take: maybe the woman was talking to herself. In other words, perhaps she's not all there and that's something she does - talking into inanimate objects as if she was talking to someone else.

If so, at least she was ahead of her time, in a way.

World Series 2010: San Francisco Celebrates Giants Game One Win

The World Series 2010 is underway and and last night started off with a bang for the San Francisco Giants. The underdog SF Giants beat the favored Texas Rangers 11 to 7, and the San Francisco fans at the many bars and restaurants around AT&T Park went nuts.

This blogger skipped buying a ticket for the fun of going around from bar to bar and making the video blog above. The trip started at Momo's, then went to Tres Agave, then past Ironside, and finally wound up at a lively 21st Amendment.

According to San Francisco Police Officer Greg Shur, the crowd, with the exception of just two arrests, was well-behaved. It was a vastly different and more controlled, yet electric feeling for World Series Game One than for the NLCS or the NLDS before that. The 21st Amendment was packed and orderly, and funny.

There was some guy behind me who yelled like a weird animal. A high pitched KIYYEEEEEEEEE sound. Then there was the man with the "Beat Texas" sign. And there was a lot of beer. It's great to see the businesses around the ballpark pick up so much business from the World Series.

And that was just for game one!

President Obama Stops By The Daily Show

President Barack Obama stopped by The Daily Show to have an interview with Jon Stewart. This is worthy of recognition, because it is not likely for a president to go on The Daily Show while in office. No other president while in office has been on the show.

This was the first time that the entire show only had one guest, but Obama is definitely worthy of having his own special show. It is really something that he was willing to go on that show while in office, because it isn't something that people would expect. The Daily Show and Colbert Report are becoming more and more accepted as credible places to take in the news - and some people only get their news from watching those satirical shows.

Obama told Stewart, "Jon, I love your show, but this is something where I have a profound disagreement with you...this notion that health care was timid."

Stewart made some suggestions that in regards to health reform Obama's legislative was timid at time.

Stewart calls Obama his most interesting guest ever. It was great that the entire half hour was dedicated to the single interview with President Obama - and that does show that The Daily Show really is more than just a show to make fun of politics and other news outlets.

The video has not yet been posted online, but hopefully there will be a re-run for those who missed it on Comedy Central, Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 11 pm et.

Nissan Recalls 2.1 Million Vehicles

Nissan Motor Company has announced a recall that affects vehicles produced from August 2003-July 2006.  Included are popular models such as the March, Mycra and Cube, but over a dozen other models are on the list of recalled vehicles.
Nissan Cube ( Z12 )Image via Wikipedia

This is Nissan's third largest recall, and is close in numbers to one of the devastating recalls Toyota had earlier this year.  However, unlike Toyota's brake issues; which raised a fair amount of safety fears, the problem Nissan is having has not caused any accidents and is far less dangerous.

The defect that was discovered has to do with a part called the relay, which is a part of the ignition-system. This can sometimes cause a stall in the engine, and in the most extreme cases, the car will not start.

These cars were built in the U.S., Great Britain, Japan, Spain, Taiwan and China.
World locations of Nissan Motors factoriesImage via Wikipedia
World Locations of Nissan Factories

Nissan's announcement was made only days after other recall lists were released by Toyota and Honda.  They have yet to release a complete list of affected vehicles.

Notre Dame Student Dies After Tower Falls

Photo taken from his Facebook
College News has reported Declan Sullivan, student at  the University of Notre Dame, died when a tower he was standing on collapsed from strong wind.

CNN writes that the 20-year-old junior from Long Grove, Illinois was filming football practice on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 when the hydraulic scissor lift he was standing on fell over.

College president, Reverend John Jenkins, tells CNN that there will be a Mass today, Thursday, October 28, 2010 in memory of Sullivan which he plans to preside over. It will begin at 10 p.m.

The Associated Press has posted a video on YouTube which includes more information. The winds are said to have been blowing at over 50 mph.

President Obama w/ Jon Stewart: He needs to do that More often..

Last night President Obama appeared for a full half hour on the Daily Showwhere he verbally jousted with host Jon Stewart and pretty much defended the record of his administration. For many who watched the show, Obama directly engaging a significant part of his base had been a long time coming. There were remnants of the hopeful feelings that so many experienced in 2008 during his historic campaign and for many that was a good thing.

It was good to hear President Obama being cheered and not jeered. It was good to see him have a conversation with a host like Stewart who resonates with a lot of the voting public who for the most part feel they been left out of the conversation. Stewart articulated a number of concerns that his audience had ranging from the issues of healthcare to how and why Obama and his administration went from ‘Hope and Change‘ to ‘Please Baby Gimme One More Chance‘ and he did it in away that was both funny but right on point. You can peep the Jon Stewart episode HERE:

Pres Obama directly engaging many within his young,left leaning base via Jon Stewart needs to happen more often

With that being said, its hard to gauge if that will translate to votes in the 11th hour. Not sure if it’s too little too late. What needs to be underscored is the array of issues Obama’s appearance on the Daily Show brings up that go beyond the 2010 midterm elections. For starters, the hoopla around Obama coming on the Daily Show because it was the ‘first time in history‘ is not something to hang your hat on and beat your chest. It suggests that there’s been a serious neglect of the political relationship and continued courtship that was needed for the millions of young and first time voters who enthusiastically voted for him in ’08. Since he’s been president, we’ve seen Obama on all the morning network news show several times. We’ve seen him on shows like 60 Minutes. We’ve seen him go before the GOP House issues conference. We’ve even seen him on Fox NewsBret Baier where in many people’s minds he was disrespected both as a man and as president. This had not gone unnoticed by those who supported him. It made the man who came across as a smart, decisive hero to many, seem weak. Jon Stewart said it best, Obama has been ‘timid’.

President Obama more than most politicians clearly understands the importance of effective communicating. During his campaign he was everywhere. He was on the Steve Harvey radio show every week. He was on the Tom Joyner show. He sat down with MTV. He sat down with Jon Stewart. More importantly he was showing up on college campuses and large numbers of people on the campuses worked on his campaign. After the ’08 election all that seemed to disappear. Obama was a strong presence in those enclaves and quite frankly he needed to be. We needed to hear or see him those arenas articulating his position on policies, laying down challenges and marching orders and sharing his frustrations. We needed to hear him defending his policies and defending himself. We needed him to remind folks that they too needed to help with the heavy lifting and lay out some practical ways in which this could happen.

Have the millions of young voters who rode for Obama in 08 been effectively engaged? Many Democrats have been dismissive to the point of arrogance in how they should best be reached. The Obama voter in '08 is not necessarily a staunch Democratic voter in 2010

Now over the past year when I’ve had this conversation with people who are in Democratic circles it became clear there’s a huge disconnect. There’s a disconnect in many of them understanding that there were a lot of Barack Obama fans/voters who weren’t necessarily down for their local congressman, senator, mayor or whoever else was running even if they have a letter ‘D’ after their name. That’s been a hard pill for many to swallow and one that’s often met with defensive posturing that means absolutely nothing when we’ve had important races for mayoral and senate races all round the country with super low turnouts. from New York to Atlanta to Houston we’ve seen 20-26% come out and the wholesale absences of the throngs of new and first time voters who came out riding for Obama in 08. Where did they disappear to? Why did they not come out?

The excuses given are often drawn from the proverbial political consultant handbook which reads; We always have low turnout during elections where the president isn’t on the ticket. That excuse is usually accompanied by the often arrogantly stated ; “Well these young voters are lazy. They need to read the NY Times and Newsweek or watch CNN like I do if they wish to stay informed” Wrong answer folks. The response should’ve been: Lets figure out ways to better reach folks consistently through the mediums they enjoy.

In 2010 where folks tend to attach themselves to small or niche ‘information’ and ‘entertainment’ watering holes, to be dismissive of that fact and basically tell folks to ‘buck up’ as Vice President Joe Biden did the other day is why Dems are in trouble all over the country. It seems like some in leadership have forgotten that people are who they are and anyone who feels that a particular segment of the population can bring votes to the table needs to get up and meet them where they’re at. If they’re at NASCAR, church, concert or plopped on their couch watching the Daily Show, then innovative compelling ways need to be used to reach that audience. Every other business does that so why not the Democrats?

President Obama‘s appearance with Jon Stewart was a reminder that in 2010 it’s not enough to simply show up at the 11th hour trolling for votes. It’s about having an ongoing dialogue and relationship one that’s in place before, during and after an election cycle. This is branding 101. It’s pretty basic and like it or not we now live in a society where enhancing your presence in the minds of consumers and in this case voters is paramount. As Jay-Z famously said ‘I’m a business man, I’m a BUSINESS, man. So in short, yes, I can read about politics in the NY Times orWashington Post ? Sure I can ‘go on line and read about issues of the day at any number of sites. All the information we want is at the tip of our fingertips. However, for those who are truly in touch with their audiences the information is too much. It can be overwhelming and so direct engagement is even more important. If it was that simple and practical as surfing the web and coming away feeling empowered and connected then the topic of political engagement wouldn’t be topic. If it was that practical President Obama would not have found it necessary to go on the Jon Stewart Daily Show.

Sports writer Dave Zirin has long managed to keep folks politically engaged by connecting the dots to issues on the sports arena

Again the bottom line is everything is political including how we choose to engage folks especially on the electoral. Some like their news, views and politics in the backdrop of other things, in this case of Stewart, comedy and entertainment. Others like it served with sports as the backdrop… ala Dave Zirin and his Edge of Sports column or any number of sports stations that also carry shows like Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly.. Still others like it in gender based chat fests like the View. Lets hope folks step up their interaction game beyond the 2010 midterm elections.

Lastly, for those on the receiving end of information, its important to note that the end game for many in power is to keep you dis-empowered, uninformed, distracted and politically in the dark. This is done to keep folks from being wise to their games, susceptible to lies, doublespeak and blatant falsehoods. In other words politics is often slimy and many who do dirt don’t want an informed public to hold them accountable. The fact that corporate interests have such a strong hold in the political arena should be wake up call to all of us as we see the ways in which things play out.

It’s no accident that your local urban radio station which was calling its ‘The Obama’ station in ’08 hasn’t created a forum or show or even had a single discussion on important issues impacting your day to day lives. It’s no accident that some outlets decided to to have last minute voter registration drives only after money was spent on ads, not because they saw it as a service to the community. It’s no accident that we are hearing more about the shenanigans of actor Charlie Sheen in 5-10 minute chunks on the evening news and not who is running for mayor, city council or District Attorney in your own backyard. Commercial media is part of the corporate wave infusing itself with politics and as a result they as business have it in their interests to keep sizeable populations dumb downed so they be that pimped and exploited.

It’s also no accident that many politicians will avoid hard hitting investigative news shows like a Democracy Now orRachel Maddow for fear of being jammed up and made to address questions they’ve skirted..So yes, on many levels its up to each of us to keep ourselves informed and at the same time we will have to push and insist that folks who want your support come to where your at and not just during election time.

something to ponder

-Davey D-

PS on a side note.. if you wish to find out about all the key elections in your state, city and neighborhood, here’s the link to an incredible voting guide. It breaks down all the races and includes all the candidates, not just Republicans and Democrats. They have the folks who are running under the Green Party, Peace and Freedom and many others. This is a great resource.. hope you find it useful

Ray Villafane Of D.C. and Marvel Comics On Pumpkin Carving

Ray Villafane has an interesting practice.

All pumpkin carvings have the ability to become freakishly delightful and moderately scary. The occasional loose toothed smile, a crooked grin, or even hideous face seems to be ordinary. What if there was an even more evil nature about a pumpkin? Potential that spooks are even scared of.

Ray Villafane, who works for D.C. and Marvel comics and owns Villafane Studios, likes to carve his pumpkins extra wicked. You might even say he is quite a "freaky" guy. 

Predator Head Pumpkin
Villafane is a two time winner of the Food Network's Outrageous Pumpkins Challenge Show. You might have even saw him on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric this past Monday at 6:30.

Not only are his pumpkin carvings insanely freaky. Villafane actually went through many trials and errors trying to perfect his art. After being an artist for D.C. and Marvel comics, his skills improved quickly. Before then Villafane mentions that he "smashed" quite a few pumpkins. 

So what pumpkin should be used?

According to Villafane, "the best pumpkin to use is a meaty one with character." This would seem to make sense in pumpkin art considering how much carving is done to create a masterpiece like Villafane's. 

How long does it take?

"It takes the best part of a day to finish, but for the most part it takes a couple hours," says Villafane. It may seem hard to believe that these intricate designs would only take a mere two hours, but for a professional like Villafane it doesn't take long.

Obama Pumpkin
Talent has nothing to do with this fine artwork though. Villafane says, "anyone can create a work of art." He even made a tutorial for those who want to try creating a masterpiece.

If you want to see more of his art you can check out Ray's Pumpkins on 

So whether you are a talented pumpkin carver like Villafane, or your the ordinary carver, Halloween can be spooked up with a hint of "Villafreakness." 

Clip from CBS Evening News