B. John

Records and Content Management consultant who enjoys good stories and good discussion. I have a great deal of interest in politics, religion, technology, gadgets, food and movies, but I enjoy most any topic. I grew up in Kings Mountain, a small N.C. town, graduated from Appalachian State University and have lived in Atlanta, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Dayton and Tampa since then.

Weekly Twitter Digest

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Aug 052017
 

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Jul 292017
 
Jul 272017
 

A recent experience caused me to gain some insight into the process the local transit authority, HART (Hillsborough County, FL) for those with medical requirements needing their door-to-door services. It is, as it turns out, way more complex than it should be, and likely makes flat impractical from some people who need the service on a shorter-term basis to be able to use it.

Let me start with some background. I have received physical therapy at a rehabilitation facility on South Dale Mabry Hwy. (I drive, and this really isn’t about me, but there was a situation that caused me to be aware of your current process.) Earlier this week, there was an older lady there receiving therapy for her knee. As I was leaving, she was limping along up the service road, so I stopped to offer her a ride. She said she was just going to the bus stop, but that was in front of the Lowes (at least a block from the facility), and across the very busy highway. It would have taken her some time at her pace, at midday, to make it to the stop. Continue reading »

Jul 232017
 

Dunkirk Movie PosterThe film depicts the dramatic and true story of the Dunkirk evacuations from a war-torn beach and harbour in France, after the seemingly doomed plight of allied soldiers in World War II. As the enemy forces close in it seems the troops have nowhere to go, but help is at hand.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Glynn-Carney, Tom Hardy, Jack Lowden

Release Date: 21 July 2017; Rated PG-13 for intense war experience and some language; Run Time: 106 Minutes; Genres: Action, Drama, History, War

We went to watch this movie last night at the AMC Theaters in Brandon. We thought it was an outstanding and unique film.

I do want to comment about our disappointment, yet again, with the AMC Theater. While it was at least quiet for change during the movie, we sat through 28 minutes of previews. Now listen, I love the previews, but not 28 minutes worth to see a 100 minute movie. Additionally, I think this film is worth seeing in Imax, however, the Imax theater in Brandon is little more than a standard theater with a slightly larger screen down front, and the sound volume just turned up all the way. It was excruciatingly loud. See it in a real Imax theater.

Now on to this brilliant film. I read an interview with Christopher Nolan, and he explained that, while they wanted to be historically accurate, most all of the characters were fictional. They weren’t trying to tell any specific story, but the broader story of what happened there. That was accomplished beautifully, and with almost no dialogue. Dolan describes the film more as a thriller than a war movie, and I think he managed. Several times I had to consciously make myself relax my muscles.

The acting was great, especially with so little dialogue. Christopher Nolan allows his players to internalize the fear and emotion, and allow them to express it in the most aromatic and penetrating demeanor’s. As Tommy, Fionn Whitehead makes an astounding mark in his feature film début. With no true lead in the movie, his point of view is often a crutch for the audience to rest upon, as his internalization of the character is one of the film’s most pivotal high points.

The film has three separate stories that are titled Mole, Sea and Air. The moles are the stories of a couple of soldiers just trying to get home. Sea are the stories of Brits who come to help get teh soldiers away. Air, of course follows a couple of British pilots. The way the narratives of the three stories unfold, and how they are all tied together is what makes the film a masterpiece.

Given the dearth of dialogue, the soundtrack is critical, and Hans Zimmer creates a soundtrack that weaves throughout the three narratives seamlessly and creates this phenomenal sense of tension. There are times when a two or three-minute tense orchestral passage plays continuously as the story shifts from the ground to the sea then to the air and the music draws the three stories together. Zimmer’s soundtrack will definitely be a top contender at the Grammy’s.

So well worth the money, even the splurge to see it in Imax, just be sure to see it in a real Imax theater. I give it a nine. Maybe this year’s favorite film so far. I give it 9 stars. Click the stars below and let us know how you rate the movie.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (1 votes, average: 9.00 out of 10)
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Jul 222017
 

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Jun 172017
 

H-1B Visas – The Joke’s On Us

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Jun 162017
 

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 defined a non-immigrant temporary worker1 under the original H-1 visa, as:

“an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning (i) who is of distinguished merit and ability and who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform temporary services of an exceptional nature requiring such merit and ability.”

In other words, this person would have been qualified to an exceptional extent, such that no other person in the U.S. could provide the service or expertise. Of course, businesses smelled an opportunity. Continue reading »

Southern Baptists and the Alt-Right

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Jun 152017
 

Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines

By now, it’s pretty obvious that conservative evangelicals and the white supremacist movement (alt-right) are kith and kin. They have crawled into bed with right-wing politicians, and are the prime supporters of what remains of the Republican Party. It is no longer about religion with this group, but all about the politics, and a dark politics it is. Of course, that shouldn’t come as a big surprise, don’t forget that SBC was founded specifically to support slavery.1

Think I’m kidding? Well, let’s take a look at what’s been going at the meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix this week. According to a report in The Atlantic, the leadership were divided over a resolution affirming the denomination’s opposition to white supremacy and the alt-right.  A prominent Black Pastor in the Convention, Dwight McKissic, published his resolution a few weeks ago. It reads in part: Continue reading »

Is The Left To Blame for Today’s Shootings?

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Jun 142017
 

I think the shooter, combined with the ready availability of guns, is to blame for today’s shooting. Of course, in their usual fashion, Republicans rush to blame anyone but themselves. Gabbie Giffords, herself a victim of an assassination attempt made a post today expressing her sorrow and support.

The ammo-sexuals didn’t receive that too well. Here are a few examples:

Continue reading »

Ducks and Congressmen – How They Differ

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Jun 142017
 

Today, I was contemplating the story of the shooting at the Congressional Baseball practice session (and later in the day after another workplace shooting at a UPS facility in San Francisco), and something occurred to me about our priorities. Reports from the scene of the Congressional Baseball practice say something like 50 shots were fired, meaning the gunman had a relatively high-capacity magazine in what has been described as an AR-15 semi-automatic weapon.

Here’s what got me to thinking. My Grandfather’s shotgun, which came down to me and which I used for some bird hunting, was a “Sportsman” model. It gets the “Sportsman” designation because it is designed to hold only three shells at a time. This is to comply with Federal and most state laws regarding the hunting of migratory birds. (I’ve quoted Florida’s below, but North Carolina and most states have the same regulation.) Continue reading »

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Jun 102017