Thursday, August 11, 2016

Big Dogs

Great Googly Moogly

Internet technology giant Google operates a $2.8 billion data center here in little old Council Bluffs, which is a source of considerable civic pride on the party of the city's community leaders.

Among other things, that means from time to time the city puts on some sort of very public celebration/promotion of the company, usually with a goofy name. They had another one yesterday, GoogleFest, held at Iowa Western Community College just a couple of minutes from where I live.

"'GoogleFest,' seriously?"

I know, right? I would have gone with "GooglePalooza," but they didn't consult me for some reason...


The now-famous Rally Mantis had to work overtime last night, but in the end my beloved Kansas City Royals were able to come from behind twice to beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 in 14 innings at Kauffman Stadium.

"Whatever the team needs me to do, I'll do."
Royals starter Ian Kennedy pitched a strong game, allowing just one run on six hits in his 6 1/3 innings of work.

Manager Ned Yost then used all seven available bullpen arms as the game went to extra innings, and eventually turned to Saturday's scheduled starter Dillon Gee, who picked up the win with two no-hit innings, striking out three.

The Royals tied the game in the bottom of the 8th and again in the bottom of the 11th before slumping CF Lorenzo Cain, who only has 8 hits and 4 RBIs in 11 games since returning from the Disabled List, drove in Christian Colón with an RBI single in the bottom of the 14th to win the game.

The rubber game of the three game series will be tonight. It will also conclude the six-game homestand, on which the Royals have gone 3-2 so far.

"Then we hit the road for six games. Oh, joy!"

I know, but perhaps we'll finally start playing better away from could happen...

Media's Plan for Election Coverage

From the incisive pen of Michael Ramirez, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

In the movie business, it is almost unheard of for a director to make it big with their initial film. Most directors never "make it big" at all, of course, but the ones who do typically take awhile getting there.

George Lucas is a case in point. After winning a scholarship from Warner Bros. while in graduate school at USC, he worked on Francis Ford Coppola's film Finian's Rainbow. That led to Lucas co-founding the studio American Zoetrope with Coppola and directing his feature-film debut, the 1971 science fiction drama THX 1138.

That film received mixed reviews and was a commercial flop, but it led to Lucas starting his own studio, Lucasfilms Ltd. The first film Lucas directed for his fledgling company made him famous and launched one of the most successful and influential careers in Hollywood history.

Original 1973 "one sheet" poster, art by Mort Drucker
On August 11, 1973 American Graffiti was released nationwide, and was an immediate hit with critics and moviegoers alike. Produced on a shoestring budget,
it did the equivalent of nearly $300 million in worldwide box office.

The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and two other categories (although it didn't win in any of them). It is included in the American Film Institute's prestigious list of 100 Best American Movies, and in 1995 it was selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry curated by the Library of Congress.

American Graffiti rekindled interest in the America of the 1950s and 60s, and directly inspired the TV classic series Happy Days. It was arguably the first of what have come to be called "summer blockbuster" movies. And of course it put Lucas in the position to launch his wildly popular Star Wars franchise.

A significant factor in the film's appeal was its use of classic period songs, which led to a successful soundtrack album which peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

One of the songs used very early in the film was Del Shannon's 1961 No. 1 hit "Runaway," the first single of his career and his only chart-topper. It is included on Rolling Stone magazine's list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Today's send-off is Shannon's unforgettable classic, paired with a photo of the film's
most iconic car, the equally classic canary yellow 1932 Ford "Deuce" Coupe driven by John Milner (played by Paul LeMat). Enjoy...

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