17 September 2007

Gore wins an Emmy for Current TV

Cheers to Al Gore and Joel Hyatt for their award for a new non-competitive Emmy category called "interactive television services" for Current TV (http://www.current.tv) launched in August 2005.

In his acceptance speech Gore notably commented, "We are trying to open up the television medium so viewers can help to make television ... and reclaim democracy,".

Gore continues to influence a media savvy younger generation through CurrentTV, which is based on viewer created content, and adds another entertainment industry award to his collection (earlier this year he won the Academy Award for best documentary feature for the big-screen version of his slide-show lecture and book about the threat of global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth")

Interestingly FOX chose to censor Sally Fields comments in which she recognized the mothers of US troops, while David's Chase political commentary was piercing: "In essence, this is a story about a gangster. And gangsters are out there taking their kids to college, and taking their kids to school, and putting food on their table. And, hell, let's face it, if the world and this nation was run by gangsters — maybe it is." — David Chase, creator of "The Sopranos," accepting the Emmy for drama series.

To sum it up, this award show tuned me in to US TV culture in just a few brief hours... perhaps Helen Mirren says it most perfectly: "You Americans are wonderfully generous people. You are a lot of other things as well. Some good, some bad."

In a humorous sketch pitting Rainn Wilson of The Office against Kanye West. MC Wayne Brady chided Kanye by saying he "picked a bad time to speak properly" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="353">

Drama Series: "The Sopranos," HBO.
Comedy Series: "30 Rock," NBC.
Miniseries: "Broken Trail," AMC.
Variety, Music or Comedy Series: "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central.
Variety, Music or Comedy Special: "Tony Bennett: An American Classic," NBC.
Made-for-TV Movie: "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," HBO.
Reality-Competition Program: "The Amazing Race," CBS.
Actor, Drama Series: James Spader, "Boston Legal," ABC.
Actor, Comedy Series: Ricky Gervais, "Extras," HBO.
Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Robert Duvall, "Broken Trail," AMC.
Actress, Drama Series: Sally Field, "Brothers & Sisters," ABC.
Actress, Comedy Series: America Ferrera, "Ugly Betty," ABC.
Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Helen Mirren, "Prime Suspect: The Final Act (Masterpiece Theatre)," PBS.
Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Terry O'Quinn, "Lost," ABC.
Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Jeremy Piven, "Entourage," HBO.
Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Thomas Haden Church, "Broken Trail," AMC.
Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Katherine Heigl, "Grey's Anatomy," ABC.
Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Jaime Pressly, "My Name Is Earl," NBC.
Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Judy Davis, "The Starter Wife," USA.
Individual Performance, Variety or Music Program: Tony Bennett, "Tony Bennett: An American Classic," NBC.
Directing, Drama Series: "The Sopranos: Kennedy and Heidi," HBO.
Directing, Comedy Series: "Ugly Betty: Pilot," ABC.
Directing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: "Prime Suspect: The Final Act (Masterpiece Theatre)," PBS
Directing, Variety, Music or Comedy Program: "Tony Bennett: An American Classic," NBC.
Writing for a Drama Series: "The Sopranos: Made in America," HBO.
Writing, Comedy Series: "The Office: Gay Witch Hunt," NBC.
Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: "Prime Suspect: The Final Act," PBS

06 September 2007

Fashion Designer Valentino announces he will retire next year

LONDON: In a dramatic gesture on the eve of the international fashion collections, Valentino, with his partner, Giancarlo Giammetti, announced Tuesday that both would resign from the Valentino company in early 2008.

The news ended speculation that has buzzed around the fashion house since a star-studded gala in Rome in July celebrating the iconic Italian couturier's 45 years in the business.

Valentino, 75, said he would leave the company he founded with Giammetti in the early 1960s after his ready-to-wear show in Paris in October and his couture collection next January.

Calling the anniversary celebrations "a moment of infinite magic and tremendous joy," Valentino said that this seemed "the perfect moment to say adieu to the world of fashion."

"My future will be filled with new interests and challenges," he said in a statement. "Some may be linked to fashion, as I have a strong desire to create and support institutions to promote the study of fashion design, and to preserve the history of the art of fashion."

Valentino Garavani, who was trained in Paris, ultimately rose to the dizzying heights of Italian haute couture and has become a fashion legend.

He dressed the famous, from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Sophia Loren, and a slew of young European and Hollywood stars. It was Marzotto, however, that made the company, known for its red ink as well as the red carpet, profitable.

Quoted from the International Herald Tribune http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/09/04/business/valentino.php

26 August 2007

"The 11th Hour"

Leonardo DiCaprio's “The 11th Hour” is a feature length documentary concerning the environmental crises caused by human actions and their impact on the planet. The 11th Hour documents the cumulative impact of these actions upon the planet's life systems and calls for restorative action through a reshaping of human activity.

The film was directed by sisters Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners. They state, “We made this film as call to action, especially to young people. They are the ones who have the power to reshape the future. We must begin now.”

Visit http://www.11thhouraction.com/media for additional trailers, and refer to this website as a place for people to gather and plan to effect change.

Fort Worth Star Telegram - "call-to-arms movie"

Seattle Times - "bureaucracy can be conquered and success is not impossible."

Detroit Free Press - "provides good advice and an abundance of well-considered ideas from forward thinkers of all stripes and persuasions who refuse to give up hope."

New York Times - "essential viewing."

Los Angeles Times - "a harrowing account of the planet's current condition"

13 August 2007

Persied Meteor Shower Peaking

Just in from stargazing on Mt. Ashland tonight. Very cold and clear on the no moon night, we packed in blankets, hats and gloves and sleeping bags. We saw so many shooting stars - including some really long and colorful trails across the sky!

The annual Perseid meteor shower is puting on a great show this year, peaking in mid-August with a display of dozens of shooting stars each hour. The Moon is new on August 12, which means no moonlight, dark skies and plenty of meteors.

The Moon will be out of the way, leaving dark skies for good viewing as Earth plunges through an ancient stream of comet debris. Little bits, most no larger than sand grains, will vaporize in Earth's atmosphere, creating sometimes-dramatic "shooting stars."

The meteors in this shower all appear to emanate from the constellation Perseus. The best times to watch will be late night Aug. 12 through dawn Aug. 13.

The August Perseids are among the strongest of the readily observed annual meteor showers, and at maximum activity nominally yield 90 or 100 meteors per hour.

Observing tips
To see the show, find a comfortable spot with a clear view of the northeast horizon, away from local lights. A dark rural location is best. Lie back on a blanket or lounge chair and scan the entire sky.

Later and during the overnight hours, the shooting stars will be higher in the sky as Perseus rises.

The cosmic rivers of debris have been laid down for millennia by the comet Swift-Tuttle, which passes through the inner solar system every 130 years. Perseid meteoroids are exceptionally fast, entering Earth's atmosphere at roughly 133,200 mph (60 kilometers per second).

02 August 2007

Anatomy of a Rose

We are beginning to explore the physics of Beauty.

Philosophers and scientists have come together to name certain universal themes.

The universe tends toward complexity.
The universe is a web of relationship.
The universe tends toward symmetry.
The universe is rhythmic.
The universe tends toward self-organizing systems.
The universe depends on feedback and response.

Thus, the universe is “free” and unpredictable.
The themes of the universe may be the elements of beauty. Certainly, they are the elements of flowers.

—Sharman Apt Russell from Anatomy of a Rose

Clouds at Sunrise

This Presence is
mysterious, like the silhouette of music,
the circumference of a dream.

Sunrise on Planet Joy is a lovely sight

If you awaken early

Today I caught them blushing

01 August 2007

Sunny Daze

Summer in Southern Oregon - think hot, think sunny, think sunflowers. I have a jungle of them this year. It must be partly due to the fact that I let the flowers go to seed, and then I let the seeds go to the birds, a lot of them fall and sprout the next year. At any rate, the more the merrier and they always make me smile the way they always face the sun. Simple pleasures - enjoy the season!