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How to Watch a Space Shuttle Launch – Another Kind of Horsepower

By Posted on 4 Comments 5 min read 373 views
Photo courtesy of NASA
Photo courtesy of NASA

This was not our view. No guests or spectators are allowed this close. But we joined about 10,000 people at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 14, 2008, to watch the launch of the space shuttle Endeavor.

If you would someday like to watch a space shuttle launch, you might want to make plans to do so soon. The shuttle program is scheduled to end in 2010. Update: ST135, the last flight of the last shuttle Atlantis launched on July 8, 2011.

That said, come reminisce with me.

Holiday Shopping with Equine Charity Gift Shops

By Posted on 4 Comments 3 min read 310 views
HKPNC/iStockphoto
HKPNC/iStockphoto

Need to do some holiday shopping that feels more like contribution rather than consumption? Equine charities often have gift shops on their websites.

FWIW, the links here will be to the charity’s homepage itself, instead of to the item or gift shop. Sometimes, direct links get changed or don’t work later on, especially for dated items like calendars.

But, first, if I miss a good place with a neat item that you know of, please feel free to add it to the comment section below. Even if you and/or the place you’re thinking of is in Europe or Asia, and you realize that this is a US-based blog. This site has attracted readers from all over the world — which makes me feel both humble and grateful.

Anyway, what’s here covers a wide range of budgets from mugs and tees to vacation trips. And I’m not just sticking with US-based charities, either.

Now, let’s go holiday shopping!

Inside the Palio di Siena from “The Quantum of Solace”

By Posted on 2 Comments 5 min read 2424 views
"© Mubadda Rohana | Dreamstime.com"
"© Mubadda Rohana | Dreamstime.com"

Early in the 2008 James Bond film “The Quantum of Solace” are scenes filmed at one of the 2007 runnings of the Palio di Siena.

I used the plural “runnings” for good reason, which you’ll see later in the post.

On the surface, the scenes shot at the Palio appear to be colorful backdrop in an exotic locale. But, when I finally got to watch the movie, I noticed a bit of storytelling depth there.

What?? Depth in a James Bond movie?? Are you high??

Nope. But let’s take a look at the race’s history first before I show you what I saw. Then, maybe you’ll see that the inclusion of the race in the film was not just a gratuitous use of a fast-paced event in an exotic locale.

Review of “Equus” on Broadway

By Posted on 5 Comments 5 min read 1102 views
Equus Playbill
Equus Playbill

Just a heads-up: the below link to the book is an affiliate link. In other words, if you buy the book, I receive a compensation. If you would prefer to purchase the book elsewhere – or not buy it at all — that’s fine, too.

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“Extremity is the point.”

So, says Richard Griffith’s psychiatrist character about his new patient, a young man remanded to the custody of a mental hospital after a disturbing attack on horses.

Dr. Dysart utters the line twice in the beginning of the play. But you don’t hear it again after intermission, as he finds himself mired deep into the complex case of his newest client young Alan Strang.

All of the buzz surrounding the original London production of Equus would make the casual observer think that extremity is the point. The lurid crime. The animal abuse. The sexuality. The child perpetrator. The nude scene that wouldn’t look out of place on tubev.sex. And, in the case of this production, the “Harry Potter Naked” news that has propelled it forwards into the general mainstream, with Daniel Radcliffe’s performance making headlines.

But that’s only on the surface. “Extremity” is what makes us look.