According to a post first seen last night on The Intertia and this afternoon being reported everywhere, the filmmaker who gave us Endless Summer and the motocross flick On Any Sunday has died. I met Bruce Brown at the Action Sports Retailer show in San Diego in 1994 and talked to him, surprised by how down-to-earth he was compared to all the other industry moguls and surf stars with their millionaire cover model ‘tudes that were at the convention center that day. We spoke for a while and he signed an original Endless Summer poster for me. Then pioneer Hawaii big wave surfer Greg Noll walked up and terrified him with a friendly laughing and unexpected bear hug that looked like he’d get crushed by. Bruce Brown was really skinny, maybe 57 years-old at the time, while Noll was in the same age group but maybe between 250 to 300 pounds and beefy. Brown said afterwards, “I need to hang a sign around my neck that says, ‘Do not hug’.” Lol
[This repost is from a new venue that I’ve opened up and I’d like to formally introduce. Prospector will be a place where we’ll discuss the strange and complicated shifts that are occurring in our society regarding an often taboo subject, making money. Writers, bloggers, and analysts are invited to join in the discussion. But what I am really interested in are the views of participants in this new economy. While I intend to keep REVIEWER MAGAZINE focused on reviews and news of arts and entertainment, with some political analysis — as it has been for over 20 years — PROSPECTOR will be about economic issues. If you are a bold explorer and a risk taker in any money-making venture, or an entrepreneur with a new idea, contact me at Editor@ProspectorMagazine.com. ~RR]
Gates’ Tech City On A Hill
In The Arizona Desert Bill Gates Plans A Master Tech Community
I saw a click-bait article on my Facebook feed today and rather than follow it down its link rabbit hole I googled the main headline points and came up with this story, and then this story here about how Bill Gates recently bought 25,000 acres of desert sand, rock, and cactus in Tonopah, Arizona, for 80 million dollars and plans to turn it into a city with smart cars and other high tech features: ‘…Gates could do what Disney could not, because he has more control over the outcome, and because technology has advanced to a level that makes the overall vision more viable.’
Gates’ shining city in the desert will be called Belmont.
One news site quotes the Gates-owned real estate company who organized the purchase, Belmont Partners, as saying in a press release, “Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centres, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs”.
While this master plan can and should be replicated elsewhere, my first thought was, “Who’s going to provide the nightclubs and entertainment for the geeks?”
Okay, no seriously, what a great idea. Do you know how much BLM land may be freed up for development in the next three to seven years if Trump gets his way? Isn’t 95 percent of Nevada federal land that’s basically unused? Think of all the mega-casinos and convention centers that could be built.
And what about all the Appalachian towns and Rust-Belt cities in the Northeast that are dying because industry left them? Some smart tech billionaire could approach their city planners and say, “Right, let me invest all this money in your tired but scrappy little old town and I’ll turn it into a high-technology burg of the future with free high-speed internet for all but you give me and my company bargain basement deals and zoning rights on all the real estate you have for sale and 50 percent of all the returns your town makes in productivity and profit for the next fifty years.”
Or something like that. You get the idea. There is SO MUCH investment potential in vast swathes of this gigantic country if more people with the means like Bill Gates were allowed to take the chance. Positive change would happen fast!
No one’s really defended Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood tape, unless you count his girlfriend Rudy Giuliani, until Melania stepped forward yesterday on CNN with Anderson Cooper.
It was painful to watch but elicited a lot of sympathy for the statuesque penthousewife. What else could she do? Her whole future is tied to the Donald.
They’re all lies, she told Anderson, as the reporter nodded in acknowledgement and looked away from her. She said she “never knew” the PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff who accused Donald of hitting on her. This same writer came to the Trump’s wedding and interviewed Donald at their Mar-A-Lago estate and she said The Donald tried his moves on her while Melania was out of the room. Later on after she quit writing about Don the Dooshbag and says she saw “Melania on Fifth Avenue, in front of Trump Tower as she walked into the building, carrying baby Barron” where Melania asked about her and why they hadn’t seen her around lately. Melania denies any of that happened and insinuates that she would’t ever be bothered with even knowing this peasant. So she’s a liar and the story needs to be pulled by PEOPLE Magazine. Her lawyer sent a letter saying so.
She asked that people shouldn’t feel sorry for her, but that’s not easy. Some things money can not easily compensate. But Melania makes an attractive surrogate for the Republican front runner. She’s the picture of a devoted wife defending her embattled spouse, and it’s hard to not want to believe her when she says she has faith in her husband, that she knows his accusers are liars, even as her eyes dart away from those of her interviewer as she says this.
Anderson Cooper held back noticeably too. It didn’t seem appropriate for Cooper to bring up the plagiarized speech Melania used with words originally spoken by First Lady Michelle, or about Melania’s website being redirected to Trump.com after it was reported that it had falsely claimed for more than 10 years that she had a degree in architecture and design from the University of Ljubljana.
But now of course we can believe Melania when she looks to the left and tells Anderson Cooper without any momentary eye contact that those women are lying and she believes her husband.
To cap off the interview I think she even said that she’s seen women come right up to Donald right in front of her and give him their number and say they want to “work” for him, as she squints her eyes at Anderson knowingly as if to say she’s fully aware of what they mean by “work” for her husband. Isn’t she admitting that as far as she’s concerned being a female and working for Donald Trump is a defacto sexual arrangement? It sure looked that way.
I really felt sorry for Melania at that point in the interview. The natural reaction is to want to believe a devoted wife who steps up to defend her man.
She’s tough and beautiful, but she’s to be pitied. At least she came out of her period of sequestering. The last we’ve heard of her before yesterday’s appearance on CNN was wit the ruckus over the DailyMail UK’s September 2 retraction of a story from August about allegations that the Slovenian model agency she worked for in Milan was ‘something like a gentleman’s club’ for wealthy clients to hook up with high priced models.
Talking ink: Low Gallery in Barrio Logan at a mid-summer show during ComicCon
by Reviewer Rob
I had both my Nikons hanging on my neck this night with the goal of playing around with their capabilities. The D5200 and D5300 were set on their fastest ISOs for a shoot at Meegan’s art gallery/performance venue Low. I’d come to see a couple of bands play, Lisa Carver’s Suckdog and The Vaginals (Vaginals sounded great, by the way). It had been a couple of years since I’d last seen Meegan and I noticed she’d gotten a couple of new tattoos.
Meegan Nolan is the stylish owner and proprietor of Low Gallery. She’s all about art — the appreciation as well as the business of it — and only now while ‘shopping this pic did it dawn on me that she was wearing a stylin’ cartoon t-shirt (is that the Tazmanian Devil?). Classic, it was, after all, the weekend of the famous San Diego International ComicCon. Yes as a fashionista Meegan is also a triple threat. On this night her shiny gold pants were amazing. But these classic-era style tattoos were what I really liked. The symbolic “Black Rose” is on her right forearm and a standing nude ‘a la Sailor Jerry adorns her left.
I shot this while the bands were setting up for the show and Meegan was standing against the back wall of the space. No flash was used, just ambient light, so it’s grainy. Like I said, I was pushing what the low light ability of the cameras could do. I think at 1/100th of a second it’s pretty decent. Photoshop brought out more contrast and color from the original RAW image.
Image file info:
Tamron lens 18-270mm F3.5-6.3 DiII VC PZD B008N
Focal Length 18mm (in 35mm: 27mm)
Exposure: 1/100 sec; f/3.5; ISO 12800; Manual; Pattern Metering
Flash: Did not fire
Lisa Carver as “The Dying Mother” with Suckdog at Low Gallery in San Diego, July 2016
When Lisa Carver brought her Suckdog show to town last month I was ambivalent about attending but still probably would have gotten out to see it. Then I got (willingly) roped into driving her and her four-woman band up to L.A. the day after it so that made it required I show up. I took full advantage of the event and recorded Reviewer TV videos and shot photos of the Alternative-Popculture Star because few can argue she is anything but newsworthy. She may not be the Queen Of The Underground as some have accused her but she’s certainly the Dancing Queen.
While waiting outside Low Gallery for the doors to open (I found out later after calling Megan that the entrance was out back in the alley) I set my D5200 on one of its higher ISO setting of 6400 to shoot some photos of the neighborhood in the after-sunset streetlamp light of Barrio Logan with the Coronado Bridge in the background. Then when the show was going to start I began shooting crowd shots of the ten or so spectators that arrived to watch, keeping the settings the same. The idea was to use the camera mounted flash as little as possible so as not to distract the performers or the audience. I ended up using the flash a lot anyways but kept the speed fast. So the two pics below are a bit grainy but I fixed them and to some extent removed noise in Photoshop.
I had the camera-mounted tilt-flash on soft and in these vertical photos as in all of them I angled it towards the roof and used my cupped left hand as a block/reflector held above it to bounce some diffused light towards the subject.
I plan to begin setting up the GPS location info on my cameras because it looks like that’s been left out for some reason.
Both photos below were shot one after the other and were both vertical and full length but the one on top has been enlarged and cropped to reveal detail.
They were shot in quick succession with no adjustment and here’s the recorded image data taken from the bottom full-length photo:
Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di LD Aspherical IF B001N
at focal length 24mm (in 35mm: 24mm)
1/100 sec; f/4.5; ISO 6400; Manual; Pattern metering
Flash: Fired, Strobe return light not detected, Compulrsory flash firing, Flash function present, No red-eye reduction
PdX: “Portland is like, ‘We’ll try anything twice, maybe three times…'”
video by Reviewer TV
Reviewer TV documentary interview: World Naked Bike Ride 2016 Portland, Oregon, is a legally permitted form of protest allowed under the First Amendment and is a local version of the same worldwide event that takes place annually.
Two participants of the Portland version of the worldwide protest talk about why they got involved and what it means to them.
Pardon the out-of focus-nature of the video. I need to buy a proper video interview camera and not rely on this Nikon SLR which originally I thought would be an upgrade but actually a CoolPix or my Samsung 7 would be a better choice due to the center-point auto-focus features. The sound is good here tough because I had a camera-mounted shotgun mic. But yeah the image needs improvement.
Even out-of-focus the girls look good though. Love these girls.
World Naked Bike Ride PDX 2016, best friends. Click the pic to be taken to the video on Reviewer TV.
We demand an investigation and, if warranted, the arrest and prosecution of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
The governor must be held accountable for poisoning the children of Flint, for fraud and political corruption, and for covering up the actions of his administration.
Gov. Snyder violated federal law by cutting off clean drinking water to the city of Flint, impacting more than 100,000 people. Instead of safe, clean drinking water, the people of Flint had polluted water piped into their homes from the Flint River—water that was then contaminated with lead.
The governor said he did this to save money.2 He knew he could get away with it, because Flint is one of the poorest towns in the country.
There is no way to totally reverse the effects of lead in a child’s bloodstream. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no safe blood level of lead for children.3
The children of Flint, already among the poorest in the United States, will now have to endure a life of pain, irreversible brain damage, and lower IQs because of Gov. Snyder’s actions and the ensuing cover-up.
Justice must be served—and other elected officials must be put on notice that people’s lives are more important than balancing a budget.
David Robert Jones; 8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016)
No More A Lad Insane, A Week After Final Album Release
Goodbye Ziggy Stardust: David Bowie’s Long Career Ends On A High Note
It’s been announced tonight by his family and friends online via Facebook that David Bowie has died peacefully at home today at the age of 69, surrounded by loved ones. He had recently fought a battle with cancer, it was said.
I think the rock press owes us a more closely reported health news wire for mega rockstars like Bowie. This is seriously too much of a shock for his fans to take so suddenly. Just last week the world was celebrating his latest album release.
Man, you never think people like that will die. Probably because in a sense they won’t. Tomorrow I’m tweeting a trainload of Bowie videos out there.
I think I will borrow a rephrase from an online post I’ve read tonight:
‘Everything on the latest album indicated it. So much saying goodbye to the physical plane. So much love for all things. “Blackstar” is such a beautiful and insightful goodbye. Perfect.’
Friend Or Foe: Holding Ground At The Bundy Stronghold
One cold January day Reviewer Magazine went to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff near Burns, Oregon.
by Sarah Shafer @SASzilla
January 9, 2016. With the arrival of another uninvited civilian armed force during the day and a closed meeting with state legislators after dark, Ammon Bundy deals with a shift change a week into his armed occupation of Federal property.
“No one else goes in, got that?,” said the man in a black ski mask and camouflage ensemble. The second guard at the entrance to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge shifts the AK-47 on his shoulder to get a handle on his walkie-talkie.
“No one else gets in but us and Jon Ritzheimer. What are they doing out there anyway? They’re suppose to be helping with the cease fire.”
The man in the ski mask listens to something gargle from his walkie-talkie.
“Listen,” he says to a young man strapped with the AK-47 (his name was Will, I remember from when I first entered the compound), “We’re going to go grab gas and a few supplies and go see what the hell they’re doing out there.”
It’s pitch black at this point. I know this conversation isn’t meant for me but this is the only way in and out, so it’s the way I’m going.
The guards finally see me emerge into the small area lit by their campfire beside the truck blocking the road. I don’t know it yet, but later I realize the guards are talking about the day’s new addition to the occupation. A few hours before my arrival, another group of armed civilians called the Pacific Patriot Network (PPN) and the Three-Percenters, barged onto the scene here in Burns adding to the confusion. According to a statement released by the group, while they don’t support Bundy’s occupation of Federal land, they do: “Wish to establish a safety perimeter of protection for the occupiers so as to prevent a Waco-style situation from unfolding during this peaceful occupation. The primary intention of this outer-ring is to bear witness to any aggressive action initiated by federal agencies or the occupiers, and to encourage an open dialogue towards a peaceful resolution. [They] will serve as a neutral third-party intermediary to prevent bloodshed.”
The group’s president may have stood up with Ammon Bundy’s friend and supporter, LaVoy Finicum, in front of the press earlier in the day. However, by the time the sun went down, it was obvious that communications were strained, and, at least for the time being, the PPN and Three-Percenters would not be welcome to return to the wildlife refuge serving as the Bundy compound.
Sent down unaccompanied by the front guard, I was told I could “talk to anyone that would talk” to me. Beyond that, there was no instruction. It was snowing, dark, and the men seemed more inclined toward trudging on with their work than speaking to the media. A lone cameraman and Julie Turkewitz of The New York Times stood with me unguarded and anxious between the building of the wildlife refuge compound as we awaited further instruction.
Ammond Bundy appeared from around a corner with three of his children clamoring around him. I stepped back before one long-haired little girl holding a blanket could run into me.
“Mr. Bundy,” I said, shaking the man’s hand.
“Who are you with?” he asked each of the three of us in turn.
“I’m from a local independent magazine called Reviewer Magazine,” I said.
“You’re local? Where are you from?”
“Eugene,” I said, “Nice to meet you.”
“You, too,” Bundy said, and looked at his son at his side. Both resorted to putting their hands in their pockets, it seemed, unconsciously. It appeared as if he had run into us unexpectedly.
“This is my boy,” Bundy said, “He hasn’t got to see his dad in a week, have you?”
The boy looks down at the ground so that his cowboy hat completely hides his face.
“How old are you?” says the reporter from The New York Times. The boy makes a start, stops, and stutters.
She says, “How many brothers and sisters do you have?”
“Well,” said Bundy, “how many of you are there?”
The little boy looks up at us from under the brim of his hat with a big smile that is missing teeth.
“Well, I’m twelve. There’s six of us,” he says
The lone cameraman moves off to record the smaller children swirling around the frozen yard.
“Who are you looking for?” Bundy looks from me to the New York Times reporter.
I say, “Are you available?”
Mr. Bundy shakes his head.
“I have a meeting with state legislators in a few minutes in the conference building.”
“State legislators? Who do you mean?” I say. Immediately, I wonder if he could be meeting with local government to try and resolve their differences and his grievances.
“Is that a closed meeting?,” asks the other reporter.
“Yes, it’s closed,” says Bundy, “It’s called The Coalition of Western States. They’re legislators from over eleven western states.”
Before I can ask Bundy a followup question about the role of the coalition in this occupation of Mahleur National Wildlife Refuge, and if he means to try to find a resolution to the situation with them, a pickup truck pulls up to him and rolls down their passenger window. He and the female passenger exchange a few words. Then Bundy starts giving out hand shakes all around as he says goodbye.
“Nice to meet you,” he says.
“You too, sir,” I say.
The gaggle of children walks behind their father as he follows the pickup truck towards one of the buildings down the way.
Online, the Coalition of Western States defines themselves as: “legislators, statesman and patriots united to stand against unconstitutional actions against United States citizens… formed after the Bundy Standoff in 2014.” I wouldn’t know until the next day about the nature of this closed meeting, and that in fact, Nevada and Oregon state representatives were personally meeting with Bundy there.
It’s at this point, after Bundy has walked away, that LaVoy Finicum sees me through an office window and gestures me to join him inside.
“You ask about taxation without representation, this is control without representation,” says Finicum.
The 55-year-old rancher and I go on to talk for well over a half an hour. He tells me his beliefs on how he thinks turning Federal land over to the state authorities will help local Oregonians. He tells me also about the flood of uncontested, bureaucratic laws that he believes prevents men from using common sense to steward public lands, the static nature of these laws, and how restrictions could be regularly re-evaluated to be more effective instead of enforced “at the barrel of a gun.”
Check back for the full interview with LaVoy Finicum at the Bundy compound.