Friday, February 27, 2009

The heavy, deeply-packed snow was melting away when we got hit with another winter storm. It is STILL winter in Montana. Driving was hazardous, but the Honors Symposium at the college still had over 200 people in attendance. (see below)

Sitemeter Sez: Visitors from Jamaica, New York; Brooklyn, New York; Granite Falls, North Carolina; Houston, Texas; Antelope, California; Killeen, Texas; Bangkok, Thailand; Oakland, California; Cary, North Carolina; Louth, Ireland; Lake Bluff, Illinois; Findlay, Ohio; Edinburgh, Scotland and Toronto, Ontario.

Check out: Theater X-Net

Starring: Ida Rubinstein Belle Epoch Russian/Parisian beauty.
Ida's Places in Paris -- from my first jet-lagged day by the Seine.
Read more about Ida in Sisters of Salome by Toni Bentley

Visit: Michael's Montana Web Archive
Theater, Art, Flash Gordon, Funky Music and MORE!
MORE UPDATES! Outre Space Cinema -- Featuring: 1930's Rocketry, Spitfires of the Spaceways and especially Cellulose to Celluloid, Even more Flash Gordon comparisons from the Saturday Matinees and Sunday Comics.

Many thanks to Jim Keefe (Visit his Website) -- the LAST Flash Gordon illustrator of the 20th Century, and Flash's FIRST illustrator of the 21st, for including my efforts on his Flash Gordon Resources Page -- along with actual creators like Alex Raymond, Al Williamson, and others!

Charity Alert: Play the FreeRice Game -- improve your vocabulary, and donate food to the United Nations. Check into Terra Sigilata blog -- donate $$$ to cancer patients just by clicking onto the site. Keep that Resolution to click on The Hunger Site every day. BTW -- is a bit simpler than FreeRice Game.

In The Community: The Hockaday Museum of Art has Seldom Seen, from the Permanent Collection, First Nations Artists -- Contemporary / Traditional, Crown of the Continent, and Ace of Diamonds. Dan Fagre's new show about the vanishing glaciers of Glacier National Park is a true labor of love by himself and other scientists from the USGS. Here's another website comparing glacier photos from the early 20th Century and now. HURRY! Things will be changing soon.

My friend Scott Wheeler, retired professor of European history and United States military history at West Point took on the subject Historical Roots of Chinese Worldview. He outlined differences between European and Chinese traditions, sketched a brief timeline of the dynasties, and encapsulated the major ideas of Confucius, Mencius, Xun Zi, and Zhu Xi in The Great Learning. He even got in some basic Buddhism in his description of the T'ang Dynasty. Good work, Scott!

Winterscape by Ma Yuan circa 1200 A.D. --
a near-contemporary of Zhu Xi.

Next is a lecture entitled, “Chinese Foreign Policy—China Shakes the World” by Dr. Steven Levine, associate director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at The University of Montana. (Mar. 5) The remaining lectures of the series include:

March 12 — “China’s Strategic Relations—Short Arms/Slow Legs” presented by Brigadier General Russ Howard, retired, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, The University of Montana;

March 19 — “China’s Economy — The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” presented by Dr. Terry Weidner, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, The University of Montana;

March 26 — “Communist China — The Cultural Revolution” presented by Major Kwok Chiu, United States Military Academy at West Point;

April 2 — “China Today” presented by Eric Pei, FVCC Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence; Visiting Professor, Liaoning University, Shenyang, China.

Media Watch: Yeah, I saw the Academy Awards broadcast last Sunday -- I was glad they tried to do things differently. It was too bad they failed so many times -- my wife wondered if the tech designer planned those wandering-camera segments for large-scale HD screens and forgot that most people still use 3 by 4 TVs.
Hugh Jackman might have imitated the late, great Peter Allen a bit too often -- I think his experience as "Boy from Oz" limited him last Sunday. He sang MUCH better after his voice warmed up, and especially when Beyonce Knowles made her own sweet musical sounds. I would have liked the song-and-dance stuff much more if the jokes hadn't had been so bleepin' lame.
I was rooting for Slumdog Millionaire -- I even endured the Golden Globes for that movie's sake. They told their story well, which every movie should do. It was remarkable that the filmmakers could use fantasy to utilize such ugly, but real, situations as the backdrop for a beautiful movie. Rahman's Jai Ho! was an excellent choice for best song, and I enjoyed seeing him perform.

Dancer, Dancer in the Hall -- Who's the REAL Star after All?

The best actor in the Flash Gordon serials was Charles Middleton as Emperor Ming (upper left). The newest page in my strip/serial comparison features the arch-villain, and also the dancing women who occasionally graced the feature, providing sort of a 'censorship barometer.' The image above was drawn by Alex Raymond in 1935. See the rest of the page HERE.