Saturday, May 1, 2010


Actor extraordinaire, Al Pacino's latest movie "You Don't Know Jack," in which he portrays Dr. Jack Kevorkian, is on HBO.

Its a movie I look forward to seeing. Whatever roles Pacino chooses to do, he imbues with life, a feeling of a very real person, not "Pacino the famous factor." He was amazing, powerful, unforgettable in "And Justice for all." and I loved him in "Dog Day Afternoon."

(I'm married to my favorite actor, John Cullum, but he doesn't object to my loving Al Pacino.)

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, (in case you don't know the name) is a famous man people called Dr. Death. He was convicted of 2nd degree murder, in prison for 8 years (of a 10 -15 year sentence). He'd helped people commit suicide -- 130 patients who proved with documents from their doctors, families, and friends, that they wanted to die because there was no future for them except continued pain.

A film Kevorkian last made of an actual suicide, the "machine" (bottles and timers that allowed the patient to control the sequence of injections that would stop his heart), was televised and seen by many people -- some wanting to watch someone die, some wondering if they could contact the doctor, others determined to put an end to Kevorkian's criminal, medical practice, and some, perhaps, who wanted to see what's forbidden, against the law, deemed wrong by their religion.

And then there were people who feel as I feel.

Here's what Kevorkian said last week, about the HBO film. I like this Doctor's unabashed, blunt, unpretentious manner. I hope, when my time to die comes, I can have a choice.

I want the right to evaluate all the factors -- pain, suffering -- and who is involved, what's involved in keeping me alive a little longer. I want to make the decision, get the help I will need if I decide it's time to end my life.

Friday, April 30, 2010


In case you weren't a fan, the reality show, "Jon & Kate Plus 8,* was about an ordinary couple with eight kids. Watching it you could think your own thoughts, while Kate and Jon managed their home and life.

Since April 2007, the lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin, their 7-year-old twins and 3-year-old sextuplets were filmed 3 to 4 days per week, and aired -- first on the Discovery Channel, and then moved to TLC, a family, home, and cooking channel.

Their show was an un-glamorous reality soap opera. Kate is not a pretty-perfect woman -- not fat, but rather thick around the middle -- an articulate, knowledgeable Mom, who's a trained nurse. (Her typical looks are a big asset -- an average woman could easily identify with Kate as she set the scenes for each episode). Jon, a not handsome or very articulate guy, between Kate's motherly/wifely endeavors, interjected what a good dad/husband should say.

I saw the show a few times. The show involved me (a not typical watcher), for maybe three minutes. I watched an episode where Kate showed a photo of her naked belly before she gave birth to the sextuplets (a shocking, repulsive view), and talked with a plastic surgeon about a tummy tuck. The film clip of the surgeon examining her stretched skin -- thirty seconds was a long enough look!

Audiences loved the show.

Despite their busy schedule,. Kate and Jon wrote and published three books --" Multiple Blessings," and "Eight Little Faces," and "I Just Want You to Know." A fourth one, "Love is in the Mix," will be published later this year. .Reviewers say the books are professional, dull, definitely not bestsellers, probably written with ghost-writers, but fans will enjoy them.

On June 22nd, during an episode, Kate, 35 and Jon, 33, announced that they were separating and added cheerfully, "The show must go on."

Bang! went the guillotine. The very next day TLC placed the show on a hiatus, announcing that the show was no longer focused on the family, and there were production problems because the couple was no longer living together.

The media's been having a heyday -- exposing Jon with various girl friends -- Kate, smiling through her tears, mentioning plans for a new show -- Jon denying rumors that he was engaged -- Kate's tears, and tantrums while rehearsing for her appearance on "Dancing With the Stars."

Sandra Bullock and Tiger Woods who are semi "hot"news -- items about Jennifer Lopez, Demi Moore, or Lindsay Lohan, who are not very interesting -- are MORE interesting than Kate, who's already a bit of has-been.

I'm not surprised that she's trying to hold onto what she achieved, but for more than month we've been hearing about Kate's rehearsal travails, as she rushed out of her limo, into her house muttering "I've got to provide for my children!" (Is she out of money? With a limo, and 2 nannies caring for the kids and her home? An insider told me the Gosselins were paid $22,500 per episode, and there were 110 episodes.)

Anyhow, there she was on TV for several weeks, dancing with a professional dancer! I liked her outfits. Her "hold it" poses between the careful, typical choreography were stiffish but nice.

Alas, Kate is not a dancer, and doesn't have "Star" in her.

(Yes, she was the star of a successful reality show, but the reality itself was the very ordinary life, of a very ordinary couple with eight ordinary kids.)

Truth: Kate Gosselin has no twinkle. Nothing about her demands attention. It wasn't a surprise, that she was finally voted off the show

That new show she keeps mentioning is happening, and maybe it will be a hit. And Jon, well ... probably, he'll get a real job in real life, and continue for a while, to get an occasional mention on some of the dirt/gossip/rumor Websites.

Certainly, both of them will have great stories to tell old and new friends, and other spouses if they don't get back together.

That might be something they'll try ... though a comeback for their television show isn't likely, WOW For the eight Gosselin kids. THAT would be super great!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


New tiny batteries are coming . They're not here yet, but they'll change the way a lot of everyday, important things will work.

Nano means: "Extremely small: one billionth."

I just recently heard about ''nano batteries'' as something marvelous and new, but "Popular Science Magazine" mentioned then a few years ago; the fact is, scientific people have been working on them since 2002, when a battery manufacturer produced the first AAAAA battery.

If you want to be able to talk about nano technology, intelligently (I do ), here's what I culled from various scientific sources. (I've learned that just a little knowledge goes a long way, especially if you're dealing with a lot of electronic stuff in your office and home, where I must be using more than a 1oo battreries -- different sizes, different types of batteries.)

According to technology experts, if you were to take all the laptop batteries that are produced in one year, in the "off" state, they're leaking, in the course of a year, an amount of power that could be stored in a small nuclear reactor -- power that's wasted just from laptop batteries.

MIT researchers, using tiny wires, known as carbon nanotubes, can now create "thermopower" a super powerful wave of energy. They're planning to refine it and make batteries to power electronics, computers and cell phones -- batteries that are 10 times smaller and hold more energy than what's used now.

I looked everywhere, to see if anyone had a picture of what a nano battery would look like. All I could find is what's in the picture.

What you're seeing is tiny wires, known as carbon nanotubes, with a diameter, roughly, that of a human hair. They're coated with a layer of fuel, and arranged in a mesh-like architecture — billions of tiny nano-components are interfaced together.

Researchers envision that other structures -- in a fiber-like configuration resembling a spider's web — might one day be woven into textiles

Importantly, the nano battery would mean a "green," recyclable, very tiny battery that would last a very long time without re-charging. Most batteries, nowadays, are made from highly toxic heavy metals (like nickel and cadmium), that are very bad for the environment.

Batteries made from this new thermopower technology would be completely nontoxic. So keep your eyes open, your ears ready, to hear that the batteries are available, the batteries are here, you can buy them!

It sounds great, but ... gee ... what are we going to do with all those old batteries? Will we have to replace most of our electronic stuff?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I'm saying again, what I said on my blog, 11/21 -- saying it louder.

Her charm, her looks, her ability to turn negative into positive -- her ultra seductive, female skills – the stuff that little girls are made of -- "sugar and spice and everything nice "-- |Sarah Palin's got it - THE POWER.

You like her. I like her, even if we don't like her.

She gestures, smiles, chuckles, shrugs, points a knowing finger -- and what's wrong, what's making you cringe, what's making you feel like snarling at her -- zzzip – gone! You're smiling (maybe a bit ruefully), but you're marching with her down her track -- it's not your track -- she's wrong, but you're marching with her.

Those eye-glasses framing her twinkling, knowing, focused eyes that are beaming her purposeful intention -- getting her logic, her truths, her sometimes (actually most of time), all-over-the-place construct of what to do about this or that -- those gleaming, framed eyes really do seem to focus onto and into you.

Her slightly messy hair, her slightly thickened, mature look of a mother wife, ---above good legs -- no -- great legs -- holding her up, giving her that stand tall, head high, "I believe in myself" look she has, even if a tomato, or cream pie, whomps her in the face – that's POWER.

Nasty things that are said about her, Palin turns into compliments. Like home-made fudge that's better than store-bought, she eats it up. It tastes good -- insults are compliments -- my goodness, those insulters are paying attention to her.

She's amazing. She's got rebound, resilience, and instinct for survival, and wow -- what a talent she has for winning you over, if you happen to be unsure of what to believe in.

That's big talent, big power.

I know for sure that I'm scared of her.

Okay ...

So, I do not like her. I do not trust her. I am revolted by her quibbling with any statement or action that comes from the White House.

I'm cringing at her recent comments about our government "HELPING" folks be more religious.

I shriveled when she told the President he's wrong about Israel.

Her perfect-toothed, smiley, inventive ways of letting folks know that she'll probably be running for president in 2012 APPALLS ME.

Well, I've got good news. With my keen eye, my super-developed awareness of how a person looks, I am stating for the record, I think she's getting fat.

Look at two very recent pictures
of fat- faced Sarah.

Mrs. Em-Glen-Beck-Rush-Limbo says ho ho!

I see on chubby Mrs. P
A not thin chin,
Just peek at her cheek --
she's up a few pounds,
7-10, you betcha.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It's been a threat for more than twenty-years; an Electro Magnetic Pulse could shut down- hospitals, financial and transportation systems, the Internet, water and electrical grids.

I read a powerful novel by Nelson DeMille,"The Talbot Odyssey." He researches meticulously, and produces page-turning bestsellers, year after year. A massive, continent-destroying EMP was the threat hanging over the country in his book. The hero and heroine were on the verge of not being able to stop it. But, they did. For me, it wasn't a happy ending -- DeMille established that the EMP thing could happen.

Well, now it's in the news. Is it fear-mongering, or a real threat? A major foundation and a Congressman got the Pentagon to commission the Navy to study how to protect the fleet from such an attack.

What does a New Yorker do with fears added on top of fears? List them: I haven't forgotten the scenarios -- someone poisons our water; pumps poison Sarin gas in the New York subways; another Timothy McVey attacks on Wall street; another 9-11.

A young child is stunned, shocked, frightened when death enters his sphere -- a pet, a plant, a relative, gets sick and dies. And like the leaves on the ground that he can kick aside, or leaves the wind scatters -- though there's sunshine, new things to do, colorful things all around -- the fact of death is forever remembered, in the same way birthdays, time passing is a fact of life that grows, gets larger, more menacing every week, month, year.

So ...EMP ...

I looked up How to build an EMP bomb.

There were a lot of diagrams,
complicated, detailed information.
It's dangerous to build.
With supplies and tools,
you could build it for $400.

I couldn't do it, aside from the fact that I wouldn't -- it's an unacceptable, inconceivable thought. I don't personally know anyone who could. But, a nut, a mad man or woman could gain access to the button to push, to activate a home-built, EMB bomb.

Here's my private inner thought: At the end of MY life which IS approaching, I know that the bad thing will happen. And, I've figured out that the "bad" thing is already within me -- the frailty, wrong habit, disease, or the failure of a vital organ is ticking away, without my awareness of the tick-tick-ticking.

Okay. Like a child, I do better with fears, kicking , blowing, scattering them aside.

EMP is on the list. It wasn't really, already there. It's there now.

What will be, will be. I can't sing Que Sera like Doris Day, but I'm turning the page with the list, and doing my work.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Are you curious or do you already know who Lady Gaga is, and listen to her songs?

She is 24 , and, as she herself puts it -- she has a "monster" hunger for fame. (And fortune -- one of the videos I looked at today, has been viewed by almost 9 million fans.)

She uses "monsters," (her term) -- designers, artists, male and female friends, the wildest, most shocking props and costumes, in unexpected, often banal, far-out scenes, as well as in very ordinary locations . And fulfilling her passion for expressing herself, she creates a montage, potpourri of STUFF that intrigues her.

Is it art?

Sure it's art. It is heterogeneous -- poetry, prose, sound effects and music elements that are combined, sometimes jumbled, other times organized into 5 to 10 minute events, with herself visible, featured along with people and things, animate and inanimate.

In my post "Lady Gaga" 1/20 I said -- "I am blabbing while I'm gagging over Lady Gaga ... That the untalented, not particularly beautiful Lady Gaga is making it by publicizing her body, her soul, her music, her poetry ... well, it's sad ... it's not incredible ... just sad to think she may be inspiring the next generation of young girls with big dreams."


I'm the older generation disparaging a creative person (female so I'm competing, comparing myself at 24 ), to an active, successful, young artist.

Even her recurring concept of monsters (that's also what she calls her fans), is an interesting, honest, artistic comment.

With an off-beat sense of humor, Lady Gaga is talking about sex, herself and others (her collaborators, casual pals and celebrities ), and telling us in her own unique way, how she sees the world.

Huh? Am I kidding? Do I have spring fever?

No. Look at the video, and factor in what I've realized -- I'm out of date. Lady Gaga is a genuine, contemporary artist.

Do I like this video? Not particularly, but I didn't like 12-tone, "modern" music till I listened to it for quite a while. A lot of people play Lady Gaga songs over and over, and over.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


The Nuclear Summit -- a major event, a life and death meeting -- it isn't front and center in the media, in conversations today, but it ought to be.

Leaders of the 46 countries that Obama needed to be there, were there. (North Korea, Libya and Syria weren't there -- they'd expressed that they wouldn't cooperate. Israel last minute, couldn't attend. )

Good things happened. Obama, in his extraordinarily diplomatic, skillful way, managed to get everyone agreeing that it was important to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists. Canada, Chile and Ukraine actually pledged to reduce their stocks of enriched uranium, and all the countries agreed to use UN economic sanctions on Iran, if Iran continued to enrich uranium.

(Canada, our friendly neighbor, was endangering us, enriching itself by selling enriched plutonium to some of the countries that were hell-bent on creating nuclear weapons.)

Perhaps the most significant accomplishment of the summit was Obama getting a promise from China's President, Hu Jintao, to join negotiations on finding ways to force Iran to stop its nuclear program.

Joining negotiations suggested a soft-voiced, "yes, I'll try to help," but it's a step in the right direction.

President Hu Jintao is not only the President of the People's Republic of China, he's also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China. And China has become a major world power, second to the United States.

If we are going to protect our country, and the rest of the world from a nuclear holocaust, we surely need, we must have China's support, BUT ... is Mr. Hu Jintao a friend or an enemy?

He's run things in China for eight years. What about human rights in China? The Tiananmen Massacre of protesters -- laws that restrict Chinese families from having more than one child, the tainted imports that continue -- lead painted toys, jewelry. tainted fish, pet food that kills pets -- mine disasters in Chinese coal districts that kill more than 2600 miners every year -- executions of criminals, more than a 1000 a year in China, while the entire rest of the world executed 700?

What do the Chinese really feel about bombs that can destroy civilization as we know it? They think differently from us -- their regard for human life is different from ours.

Yes, we have Barack Obama, a statesman, in our White House, who thinks ahead, and knows all the pros, cons, and possibilities.

Commentators are saying .. "good luck. Charlie (Obama)." They say-- "Iran, which our own State Department identifies as the greatest exporter of terrorism in the world, in less than a year will have enough enriching uranium to make a bomb."

They remind us --"Israel wasn't at the summit -- they're too busy threatening, echoing the threats of Syria. who wasn't at the summit, who's just been discovered transferring lethal Scud missiles to Hezbollah, the Middle East's most powerful non-state terrorist force."

Of course the commentators mention Kim Jong II, North Korea's nutty dictator, who'll kill to get a killer bomb.

They say, "Not on the Summit's agenda was Pakistan's plutonium production, that's adding to the world's stockpile of fissile material every day. And Pakistan says its fighting Taliban while it's home to Al-Qaeda."

They sigh wistfully, negatively, summing up the summit: "Canadian uranium is secured. A non-binding communique has been issued. And a 'work plan' has been agreed to, and there will be another summit in two years. The dream lives on."

I say: "Obama dreamed when he was a student, 27 years ago, of a weapons-free world, and what he dreams -- he implements."