Friday, June 30, 2017

Day Zero

The Prelude is over. In the next movement, shit gets real.

The day you receive your new cells is often called "Day Zero". It's your new birthday. The cells are put into your body through an intravenous line. The procedure is like a blood transfusion. The donated cells 'know' where they belong in the body. They move through your bloodstream to settle in your bone marrow. This is where the cells will begin to grow and produce new red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Schutze vs Lieber; Toler vs Schutze

In May, Lynn Davenport lost her bid for a place on the Richardson ISD school board. Afterwards, Dave Lieber of The Dallas Morning News wrote about the election campaign. Lieber listed a harassing tweet, rumors about Davenport's conservative politics, and a hack of her website that redirected traffic to a porn site. Lieber wrote, "Her problems stemmed, she believes, from her opponent's veteran political consultant, C.P. Henry of Dallas." That accusation in Lieber's column caught the attention of Jim Schutze of The Dallas Observer.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Anne with an E (TV 2017)

Anne with an E (TV 2017): Simple story of a charming, imaginative girl turned into something much darker. Whimsy is lost. So is Anne. C+

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

POTD: The Test of Our Progress

From 2016 10 10 Washington DC

Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC.

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
— Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Evergreen words. Will this generation fail the test?

Monday, June 26, 2017

E Pluribus Unum. Or Not.

E Pluribus Unum. A sentiment as dead as the Latin it's written in.

I'm collecting words that I used to think were universally considered to be virtues, like motherhood and apple pie. You know, words like tolerance, and compromise, and civility. And even kindness. Spoiler alert: many conservatives no longer consider those to be virtues. Now there's another word to add to the growing list: unity.

Friday, June 23, 2017

POTD: Honoring Those Who Served in WWII

From 2016 10 10 Washington DC
Today's photo-of-the-day is from the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

There were 16,112,566 members of the United States Armed Forces who served during World War II. Today, these veterans' ranks are rapidly diminishing with age. In 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 372 World War II veterans were dying every day (Wikipedia).

A bonus photo is after the jump.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Café Society (2016)

Café Society (2016): Nostalgic '30s Hollywood & NY clubs & parties. Golden cinematography. Typical Woody Allen dialog. Watchable trifle. B-

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

POTD: Neenah Everywhere

From 2016 10 10 Washington DC

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Washington, DC. Don't just look up at the monuments, look down at your feet, too. No matter where you are, the chances are good that, stamped in iron, the name of Neenah, Wisconsin, will be there, even at the base of the Washington Monument. The Neenah Foundry has been manufacturing cast iron manhole covers, gratings, and similar items since 1872 for use all over the country and world.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Beginning of the End for DART

With the runoffs to Dallas City Council races over, three incumbents were defeated. There are, perhaps, many reasons to cheer the overturning of the old guard in Dallas. But the future of DART for Richardson is not one of them.

As reported in December, 2016, the Dallas city council voted unanimously on a resolution that did not include the Cotton Belt line as one of its transit priorities. Then, it named Patrick Kennedy to the DART board. Kennedy is opposed to converting the Cotton Belt line to passenger service from Richardson to the DFW Airport. I concluded with, "Richardson is going to have a fight on its hands to get that Cotton Belt line developed." Developments since then have only gotten worse. It's not just the Cotton Belt line at risk, but the whole DART system.

Monday, June 19, 2017

POTD: Let's Go Fly a Kite

From 2016 10 09 Alexandria
A belated Happy Father's Day to all fathers. Today's photo-of-the-day is from the Washington Monument in Washington, DC., where a father is flying an eagle-shaped kite with his two girls.

A bonus photo is after the jump.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Heathers: The Musical at PHS

Heathers: The Musical at PHS: Cliques, bullies, damaged kids. Black comedy with a body count. Meaty subject for high school. Powerful.

Another photo after the jump.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Fantastic Beasts (2016): Magical suitcase mixup in 1920s NYC. Hogwarts meets Jumanji, Ghostbusters, Alien & MIB. See any of them instead. C-

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

POTD: Congress In Her Hand

From 2016 10 10 Washington DC

Today's photo-of-the-day is from Washington, DC, where for a brief moment, Ellen held Congress in her hand. All in all, a better arrangement that maybe should have been made permanent.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Passengers (2016)

Passengers (2016): Think Robinson Crusoe in space. Or The Martian with fewer challenges to solve. Or a love story with a jerk of a guy. C-

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Future of Education

As always, society is engaged in a great battle for the future. Education is ground zero. The New York Times reports on how the heads of tech giants like Netflix, Facebook, and Salesforce are using philanthropy to try to improve education.
In the space of just a few years, technology giants have begun remaking the very nature of schooling on a vast scale, using some of the same techniques that have made their companies linchpins of the American economy. Through their philanthropy, they are influencing the subjects that schools teach, the classroom tools that teachers choose and fundamental approaches to learning.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower (2017)

Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower (2017): In Egypt, Russia, even America, democracy retreats. Here, it's Hong Kong. Hope lies in youth. B+

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

OTBR: Blueberries and Stones in the Czech Republic

Latitude: N 49° 07.494
Longitude: E 015° 15.450

A child on a road trip with his family asks, "Where are we?" and the father answers, "Let's check the map. We're off the blue roads [the Interstate Highways marked in blue on the road atlas]. We're off the red roads [the US and state highways]. We're off the black roads [the county highways]. I think we're off the map altogether." It was always my dream to be off the map altogether.

After the jump, a few of the random places (and I mean random literally) that I visited vicariously (not actually) last month that are "off the blue roads".

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman (2017): Best. Superhero. Ever. Movie is smart, funny, romantic, even believable for a comic book movie. Please, no sequels. B+

Monday, June 5, 2017

Richardson Needs Inclusionary Zoning

The Dallas Observer's Jim Schutze scolds the Dallas City Council for trying to drive poor people to the suburbs by restricting low-income housing options in the city. He supports instead what is called inclusionary zoning.
In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio has made inclusionary zoning the centerpiece of an ambitious affordable-housing program. It’s basically a win-win bargaining tool for cities dealing with developers who want to build more units on one piece of land than the law allows.

We’re talking about zoning law, which is well within the purview of city councils to amend. In other words, the council can change the law at the stroke of a vote and give developers some or all of what they want. Under inclusionary zoning, before the council gives away the company store, it is required to ask for a little something in return for the people in the way of affordable-housing units.
I doubt this will be popular, but if Dallas wants to drive poor people out of their city, cities like Richardson ought to accommodate them.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bob Townsend, 1933-2017

Mayor Voelker honors Bob Townsend

The City of Richardson announced that former Mayor and longtime city council member Bob Townsend passed away.
Townsend was first elected to the City Council in 2001 and served until deciding not to run for re-election earlier this year. His term ended last month. During his time on the Council, Townsend also served as Mayor from 2011-2013, Mayor Pro Tem from 2007-2011 and again from 2013-2015.
To mark the sad occasion, we republish Bob Townsend's responses to questions posed by The Wheel last year in our first (and so far, only) online Town Hall Meeting.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Alien: Covenant (2017): Inept crew, androids and aliens like monkeys in Oz. Exploding bodies. Dripping goo. Joe Bob says check it out. C+

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Repeat Tweets: Iconic Art Space is At Risk

Repeat tweets from May, 2017:

  • May 2 2017: Have you ever been to the UT-Dallas Art Barn? This may be your last chance. The iconic art space is at risk.
  • May 2 2017: The Circle (2017): Telegraphed morality tale about loss of privacy to online big data. Nothing novel here. Watch Black Mirror instead. C-
  • May 3 2017: "James Comey Says He's 'Mildly Nauseous' at Suggestions He Swayed Election." Word nerd alert: Yes he is and he makes me feel nauseated.
  • May 4 2017: Beauty and the Beast (2017): Visual feast but uninspired remake of Disney 1991 animated movie. Most believable beast and love story yet. C+

After the jump, more repeat tweets.