Weightless Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking passed away today at the age of 76. I share this 2007 post to remember him.

I'm taking a few moments this morning, the day after Stephen's weightless ride, to share a few of his quotes:
It was amazing, I could have gone on and on. (about his weightless experience)

God not only plays dice, He also sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen.

I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.

To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit.

When one's expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.

It matters if you just don't give up.
Stephen has suffered for many many years from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). This flight was the first time in 40 years that Stephen moved freely beyond his wheelchair.


Thought I would challenge my self a bit in February by posting 26 devotions in 28 days on words in the bible. The first word of the day is zeal. Click here for more.

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I do not review as many restaurants as I used to but feel free to check my reviews out here.

concept-i car

Toyota's Concept-i Car on display at the Detroit Auto Show [more]

Get Out | ★★★★★★★★☆☆

I did not think that I would like this movie because it was labelled a horror flick. I think the tag was wrong - it is more like something that you would have seen on the Twilight Zone. Ordinary story turned really weird. Normal people become really creepy.

I thought that the acting was pretty good but the acting did not make this one good - the plot is everything. The setup has a 'guess who's coming to dinner' vibe. You get the impression that it is all about racism. And it is. Only not what you think.

I enjoyed the twists and the turns. I could not figure this one out. It kept me engaged all the way through. The editing seemed to be spot on and the casting was good.

I really liked the movie and, on a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★★☆☆.

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Fall Flicks

Here are a few one liners about the flicks I have (re)watched this Fall but have not reviewed.
  • Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆
    Not a great Superman or Batman movie. Wonder Woman showed up though.
  • Florence Foster Jenkins ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    Meryl Streep acting like she cannot sing.
  • Going in Style ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
    Fun movie about three old-timers who are cheated out of their pensions and rob a bank.
  • The Great Wall ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆
    Matt Damon fighting reptilian monsters to protect the world says it all.
  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    If you liked the first one, you will probably enjoy this one too.
  • John Wick: Chapter 2 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    If you liked the first one, you will probably not enjoy this one.
  • Keeping Up With the Joneses ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    Fun movie about when spies move into the neighborhood.
  • La La Land ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
    A movie that was simply too full of itself. Major disappointment.
  • Logan ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    A swearing, bloody and disappointing end to the X-Men Origins and Wolverine series
  • Miss Sloane ★★★★★★★★☆☆
    Jessica Chastain excels in this flick about the dark side of lobbying in DC.
  • A Monster Calls ★★★★★★★★★☆
    A beautiful story about a young boy coping with his single mother's terminal illness.
  • Moonlight ★★★★★★★★★☆
    A great flick about growing up gay in an African American community.
  • Sister Act ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    I love watching this old movie about how God works in and through a nightclub singer.
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    Tin Fey plays a journalist recounting her wartime coverage in Afghanistan.
  • Why Him? ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
    Story about how your daughter's boyfriend might be better than you think. A bit racy.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆
    How Professor Xavier went bald and other insignificant X-Men triva.
Have you seen many of these? Let me know what you thought about them.

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a simple challenge for 2018

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his
individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them. -Washington Irving

Rise above principle and do what's right. -Joseph Heller

You learn to rise above a lot of bad things that happen in your life. And you have to keep going. -Lauren Bacall

There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself,
in acts of bravery and heroism. -Alexander Hamilton

Merry Christmas

She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger---there was no room for them to stay in the inn. There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them,
"Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David's town your Savior was born---Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great army of heaven's angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!"
When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
"Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child.

All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said.

mixed messages

I think that your entire life is a process of sorting out some of those early messages that you got. -Bruce Springsteen

Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won't make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa - and it's about getting a balance. -Richard Branson

I want girls to feel the confidence you get from being smart. They get so many messages that tell them the most important thing is to be beautiful. -Danica McKellar

Each of you is a unique child of God. God knows you individually. He sends messages of encouragement, correction, and direction fitted to you and to your needs. -Henry B. Eyring

The longing we have to communicate cleanly and directly with people is always obstructed by qualifications and often with concern about how our messages will be received. -John le Carre

Gone with the Wind | ★★★★★★★★★★

Ann and I watched this epic film last night. A few thoughts:

    •   Directing of the burning of Atlanta was spectacular;
    •   Unbelievable cinematography for a movie made in 1939;
    •   Clark Gable should have got the Oscar for his brilliant performance;
    •   Vivien Leigh made Scarlett come off the pages of the book;
    •   Great onscreen chemistry between Gable and Leigh;
    •   The backdrop of the South in the Civil War was heartbreaking;
    •   Hattie McDaniel was simply wonderful as Mammy;
    •   I loved the contrast in character between Melanie and Scarlett;
    •   The movie showed the different sides of what it means to be honorable;
    •   I think it is one of the best movies of all time.

I love this movie and, on a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★★★★.

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Unbroken | ★★★★★★★★★☆

This was a great movie to watch so close to Veteran's Day. It reminded me of people, like my son, who voluntarily risked so much to serve our country.

Unbroken is a real epic one about Louis Zamperini. Olympic runner. World War II Army Air Corps’ bombardier. Survivor of a plane crash that left him, and two comrades, stranded on a raft in open sea for 47 days. Brutally mistreated prisoner of war - for over two years, he suffered from disease, exposure, starvation, and near-daily beatings from guards. Louie is the definition of what it means to be unbroken.

The movie will make you cry if you let it. I loved watching Louie grow up. With the help of his older brother, he went from juvenile delinquent to a runner that was destined to break the 4 minute mile years before Roger Bannister. In pursuit of Olympic records, this amazing man heard the call to military service.

I loved the movie and, on a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★★★☆.

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Reflections from Private Bob

Here I am a few weeks after I entered the US Army in October 1968. That day in October, when I raised my hand and became a soldier, seems so long ago. Yet it seems like yesterday. I can feel the fear of entering military service knowing that my friends John and Joey had recently died in Vietnam. I remember being drafted and knowing that I did not want to fight in Vietnam. That trip to the recruiter was deeply driven by a desire to find a path that did not include the War in Vietnam. I signed up for an extra year to serve in the US Army Air Command working on missiles with nuclear capability.

I served stateside for three years at a missile firing range in New Mexico. During my military service I grew up a lot. I learned valuable life skills - LOL, like doing my own laundry. I developed technical and interpersonal skills that would last me a lifetime. I met my first wife Ellen. I got outside of my comfort level in a major way as I learned to live away from home and my family. In the end, I wonder what my life would have been like if I had not been drafted.

... reposted from November, 2014

Jackie | ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

I am not sure what I expected to learn when my wife Ann and I watched this movie a few nights ago. I thought that it would be somewhat of a bio-pic detailing the former First Lady's life before and after the White House. I was wrong about that.

The movie focuses on the aftermath of her husband's assassination. It was a moving depiction of the trauma of that event and how she navigated feelings of shock, rage and anger. It gave me a new appreciation for Jackie. Images of the president dying in her lap helped me understand how impossible the situation was for her.

I thought that Natalie portman did a good job in the title role. Yet the story itself overshadowed her acting. Watching this movie brought me back to that awful day in a high school in Brooklyn when I learned that President Kennedy was murdered.

I liked the movie and, on a scale of ten, give it ★★★★★★★☆☆☆.

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