Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


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Good little history of US pop and fashion from 60s to now – (minus EDM)

This goes decade by decade. Six short videos of about 5 minutes each. I like the quick time frame but notably absent is any mention of EDM, which I think caused quite a ripple. Too European..?

Oh well. Don’t forget to buy your Levis! 😉

BTW, Rolling Stone recently put up for sale… Last I heard major bidder was in Singapore.

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Another great Trek episode… (slight spoiler alert)

Image – Wikipedia (Star Trek Franchise is pretty strict about sharing images, so it’s hard to find copyright free ones for blogging)

Caught season 1 episode 3 of the new Star Trek TV series last night. I felt this one would indicate if the show was heading somewhere or just going to fizzle, as did Star Trek Enterprise.

Pleasantly surprised again.

The best part, I thought, was how the quirky Captain of Discovery tells Michael Burnham that universal rules are for the rank and file. Kings appreciate the importance of context.

Of course, he could have said Queens appreciate context—that is, they bend Starfleet regulations. And given that the show is trying to be so forward thinking by giving the woman Michael a male name, I thought this was a small glitch.

But other than that… looking forward to the remainder of the season!

 6 ‘Star Trek’ Captains, Ranked from Worst to Best (space.com)

 Claire Foy auditioned for ‘The Crown’ wearing a tiara, gloves, and gown while she was 6 months pregnant (businessinsider.com)

 The man behind ‘Game of Thrones’ has several TV shows in the works – here’s everything you need to know about them (businessinsider.com)


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Google Street View – What is Big Brother Watching?

My screen capture of Google Street View – Click on image for full size. Follow this link for “live” travel and image credit >> https://goo.gl/maps/ZVjnLLMNHPJ2

Web cams in public spaces are a fact of life. Also, individuals with video-equipped phones have changed our way of life. In a nutshell, abusive people can’t get away with what they used to get away with, because chances are they’ll be videoed and perhaps charged.

That’s the plus side.

The down side, detractors say, is that we lose some degree of our human rights and freedoms. Supporters will rejoinder that public cams enhance human rights, because nobody has the right to harm another or trangsress their right to live in peace.

This debate has been going on for decades. In its political form, probably for centuries.

I first read about it in Zygmunt Bauman’s book, Socialism The Active Utopia. But subconsciously I’ve been aware of it since my teens. Power, government, freedom. It’s a delicate balance.


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Sign of the Cross – Sign of the times?

Originally published in 2007 at Earthpages before we migrated to WordPress

The other night Turner Classic Movies ran a wonderful 1930’s production called The Sign of the Cross. Basically it’s about early Christians being hunted down and persecuted in the Roman empire. Toward the end, the film gives a dramatic portrayal of the power of faith as imprisoned Christians face the prospect of being eaten alive by wild beasts at the Colosseum (which really happened), with an especially inspired performance by Elissa Landi.

After the close of the movie, the critics at TCM said absolutely nothing about the power of faith but zeroed in on the importance of a woman’s breasts being partially shown in a milk bath and how a lusty gay scene was mostly edited out some years later once Hollywood prohibitions kicked in. Interesting stuff, but really quite tangential to the main message…


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21st Century Signs and Urban Changes

Image via Tumblr

Now that I’ve finally got a good mobile phone that takes nice pics, I’m beginning a new venture, one that has been percolating for some time now. Actually two ventures. One is a photo series called “21st Century Signs.” The other is a series called “Urban Changes.”

21C Signs will chronicle signs that catch my eye as I go about my daily business. I won’t crop or filter the images. It’s just a quick historical snapshot. The series might seem unexceptional today, but in the future I think folks will be interested.

Urban Changes is about how my city, Toronto Canada, is changing soooo fast. Old buildings are disappearing by the truckload. New buildings are coming up and altering our skyline like never before. So this series will outline abandoned, soon to be trashed, and glittering new structures.

You can keep up by simply coming here because it’ll all be on Twitter. And my personal Twitter feed is at top right of this page. I was lucky to grab the name “@MikeClark” at Twitter early in the game, when Twitter was just taking off. If you want to see the whole thing, here’s the link:


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21st Century Signs

Thinking I’m going to start a new photo series called “21st-century signs” or something like that. I’ve been fascinated by street signs for a while now. Some are just boring but others stand out. I always marvel at pics of old times. So maybe someday people will look back at these and think…”oh, how old fashioned!”

To make it easier, a very dear soul gave me their not-too-old smart phone. Up ’till now I’ve been using a dumb phone but since the phone was free, I couldn’t resist!

Image via Tumblr


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Only in Toronto…

assbackwards-01.jpg licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Click image for source.

Toronto sports fans are rejoicing that the Leafs finished dead last in the NHL season this year.

Why?

Because this dismal season made them eligible for a lottery to get the first draft pick for the upcoming season. And they won the lottery. So theoretically, Leafs get to choose the best new player. I say theoretically because there’s no guarantee their pick will actually turn out best.

Many fans actually wanted the Leafs to lose their final games so they could get this pick.

To me this is the same kind of ass backwards philosophy that runs through much of Canada: Keep the dollar low so we can attract foreign business and, especially, customers for exports like good ol’ Texas Tea (Alberta blend). Meanwhile, tax more so we can (supposedly) get better services.

It’s a loser’s game… in sports and life. Far better, I think, to always do your best rather than skulk around in the mud.