Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ category

America: Today

February 10, 2009

Neil Diamond was just  honored for a spectacular career. He is deserving. My favorite performance, though there are many, was singing America in the movie, The Jazz Singer. Timely and inspirational. If you haven’t seen the film, see it. Enough said.

R.I.P. Paul Newman

September 28, 2008

Sometimes there really are no words to do someone justice. He was a mega star and a philanthropist, a sportsman and a champion of the needy. I’m gonna miss him.

Tonight in Singapore, the first ever Formula 1 night race in history will be run. I have a feeling there will be a fitting tribute before the race. RIP Paul. Thanks for being here.

Trekking in Singapore – The Singapore Flyer

August 25, 2008

I finally got a chance to check out the Singapore Flyer which, at 165 meters tall (536 feet) is the tallest ferris wheel in the world. One revolution takes 30 minutes and that’s how long the ride is. The wheel goes slow and it never stops. You board while it moves through the boarding area. Normal cost is $29.50 Sing dollars and $23.50 for seniors over 60. I should have waited another 5 months.

I went as part of a city tour package that included a boat tour on the Singapore river, the Flyer ride, and lunch at a hotel afterwards. We travelled by tour bus and our first stop was the river.

This shows the boarding area along Clark Quay. It’s a clean river lined with outdoor restaurants, pubs and shops.

The boat enters the harbor and passes the Singapore mascot, The Merlion, with the 5 star Fullerton Hotel in the background.

Behind the Fullerton is the main financial district skyline.

At the mouth of the harbor is the flyer. In the foreground you can see the bleachers for the floating stage, again, the largest of its kind in the world.

Under the loading area at the base of the flyer is a beatifully landscaped waterfall and jungle area complete with Koi pond and lush tropical plants.

Also just below the Flyer they are building the pit and grandstand area for the Formula 1 track. Singapore will host its first F1 race next year.

This shot looks out over the adjacent golf course to the main shipping lane where cargo vessels wait to enter the main port for loading and unloading. Singapore and Hong Kong switch back and forth as the busiest cargo ports on the planet.

From higher up I could see the area where the race cars will enter the pits from the main racetrack. As you can see, the entrance is right after a sharp left turn. The cars will be travelling from right to left in this area.

This car was next to us and I took this shot as it reached the very top of the journey. Each car can fit 28 people but we only had about a dozen in ours.

This area under construction is where the new Integrated Resort and Casino is being built. It will include a 3000 room hotel, casinos, shops, parks and a lush garden on top from which there will be a spectacular 360 degree view. In the background is the port.

Here you can see the floating stage, currently being covered with a full sized soccer field for an upcoming event. The two round structures beyond that is the Esplanade Fina Arts theater where major concerts and shows are held.

I took this shot as we were coming back into the boarding area. On the left is a model of the resort hotel and on the right is the actual city. The scale model of the resort was only about 12 feet tall but it looks as though its the same size as the city skyscrapers in the background.

Finally, this is what it’s gonna look like once the track is completed. I can’t wait.

In Memorium – George Carlin

June 23, 2008

George Carlin, the king of alternative comedy has died at the age of 71 of heart failure. He was perhaps best known for his ”Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television” routine which became the center of a landmark Supreme Court case.

He hosted his first episode of Saturday Night Live in 1975, and starred in a number of HBO comedy specials over four decades. He also appeared in occasional movie roles, including Dogma and Cars.

In the past 10 years, he achieved success as an author, publishing three best-sellers. The audiobook of his most recent, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?, was nominated for a 2006 Grammy in the Spoken Word category. Just last week, Carlin was named the recipient of the 11th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

To me, Carlin was like a white Richard Pryor, always going where no other comedian dared to tread. He loved to make fun of the church and hold a blow torch under the feet of the Bush administration. He was in a class of his own and I’ll miss him.

The Art of Bob Dylan

June 8, 2008

The talent of this man knows no bounds. H/t to 9 Pound Hammer for this gem.

After a successful art show in Germany last year, the songwriter has an art show opening at the Halcyon Gallery in London next week, featuring a collection of over 200 pictures, mostly color variations on the artwork published in “Drawn Blank.”

Speaking to the London Times about America, Dylan had this to say.

“Well, you know right now America is in a state of upheaval,” he says. “Poverty is demoralizing. You can’t expect people to have the virtue of purity when they are poor. But we’ve got this guy out there now who is redefining the nature of politics from the ground up…Barack Obama. He’s redefining what a politician is, so we’ll have to see how things play out. Am I hopeful? Yes, I’m hopeful that things might change. Some things are going to have to.” He offers a parting handshake. “You should always take the best from the past, leave the worst back there and go forward into the future,” he notes as the door closes between us.”

John Rambo

May 19, 2008

I just watched Rambo IV. It was brutally graphic, nonstop action and I just loved it. As Rambo, albeit an older, well seasoned one, Stallone still has what it takes. As a younger man I would have called it kickass. 5 stars.

Memory Lane: Easy Rider

May 18, 2008

It’s Sunday night and as usual, I’m surfing through YouTube looking for some nice music to end the week. I ran across this and just couldn’t resist.

I’m certainly no movie expert although I do watch my share of films. I just know what I like and what I don’t. It’s been amost 40 years since Easy Rider was released. I still enjoy the movie and its great soundtrack. Like Woodstock, Vietnam, Kent State, The Black Panthers, Mario Savio, The Beatles, and so many other people and events, I think Easy Rider helped define those times.

It was nominated for 10 awards including two Oscars and it won a few. It opens with the great Steppenwolf song, Born to be Wild. Here’s a video I found with a few of the other great songs from this memorable movie.