3 Recent Netflix Movies :: Viewing Verdicts

The Highwaymen

Verdict: A Road Trip Worth Taking

The Highwaymen starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as the real life men tasked with ending Bonnie & Clyde’s reign of terror in the 1930’s is as fine a Netflix original movie as any they’ve released so far or as fine a movie I’ve seen in a while period. It’s not a superhero movie. Not a sequel, a reboot or a remake. It’s finely acted and the movie moves at a slower pace most jump cut editors and movie studios don’t allow these days for fear they’ll lose the audience’s two-second attention spans. I really enjoyed the hell out of this movie.

Triple Frontier

Verdict: In The Jungle (with half a good) Book

Who doesn’t love a good heist movie? Triple Frontier sees an all-star cast of Special Forces operatives (Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal) reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. Loved the set up, the fast pace, the planning, and the heist. Oh man, the heist. In a secluded estate deep in the jungle, on a time-clock, in the rain…get the money, kill the kingpin and get out before the family gets home from church. The tension and build up to all of this was simply terrific…and then it seemed the writers decided to consult the screenplay and movie plot handbook 101 as the predictable blueprint for the rest of the movie. I even found myself bumping the 10-second fast forward button repeatedly just to get to the end. Not since Dead Poets Society have I been so entertained by the first half of a movie and so utterly bored by the second. I know that’s blasphemy, but to this day Dead Poet’s is the only movie I’ve ever left early. Luckily for me this time, I had a remote control.

The Dirt

Verdict: Painful Theatre

I had low expectations when I hit play on this Mötley Crüe biopic and it didn’t even live up to those. Bad acting and making bad behavior worse by somehow making it boring dooms this heavy metal head scratcher to a horribly predictable VH1 Behind The Music episode. The Dirt even breaks the fourth wall just so it can tell viewers some of the things you are about to see didn’t actually happen. Do yourself a favor and don’t hit the play button.

Muckefuck & Apfelschorle


I’m always fascinated by things other cultures just assume are normal and take for granted as being universally normal. Americans tend to think anything existing outside of U.S. culture as weird but never stop to think, maybe other cultures think exactly the same way and we’re the weird ones. But after reading this list of 10 UNUSUAL DRINKS GERMANS THINK ARE ABSOLUTELY NORMAL…I’m pretty sure the Germans really are the strange ones. Sauerkraut juice? C’mon.

Bored? Take The Proust Questionnaire

Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.

1.__What is your idea of perfect happiness?

2.__What is your greatest fear?

3.__What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

4.__What is the trait you most deplore in others?

5.__Which living person do you most admire?

6.__What is your greatest extravagance?

7.__What is your current state of mind?

8.__What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

9.__On what occasion do you lie?

10.__What do you most dislike about your appearance?

11.__Which living person do you most despise?

12.__What is the quality you most like in a man?

13.__What is the quality you most like in a woman?

14.__Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

15.__What or who is the greatest love of your life?

16.__When and where were you happiest?

17.__Which talent would you most like to have?

18.__If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

19.__What do you consider your greatest achievement?

20.__If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

21.__Where would you most like to live?

22.__What is your most treasured possession?

23.__What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

24.__What is your favorite occupation?

25.__What is your most marked characteristic?

26.__What do you most value in your friends?

27.__Who are your favorite writers?

28.__Who is your hero of fiction?

29.__Which historical figure do you most identify with?

30.__Who are your heroes in real life?

31.__What are your favorite names?

32.__What is it that you most dislike?

33.__What is your greatest regret?

34.__How would you like to die?

35.__What is your motto?

Cup O' Coffee and the Sunday Paper

Hoping you’re having a loungy, lazy Sunday. Here’s a few of the articles I read this past week I liked quite a bit.


On Likability by Lacy M. Johnson - This one says a lot about what’s wrong with our society.

My daughter comes home from school at least once a week and announces to me that no one likes her. She has done something that is too weird, or bold, or has said a thing with which others disagree. She has had to sit alone during lunch or play alone during recess. She even sat on the buddy bench, she tells me, and no one came.



While the average nursing home costs $188 per day, Robison wrote that reservations at the hotel chain cost $59.23 per night with both a long-term stay and senior discount. Factor in free breakfast and happy hour and Robison calculated that would leave $128.77 a day for food and entertainment.

Not to mention, Robison said Holiday Inns offer a spa, swimming pool, workout room, laundry room and a lounge. Of course, complimentary shampoo, soap, toothpaste and razors will rack up savings, too.

Securing a room at the right nursing home may take months, but Robison said reservations for quality customer service can be made now.



What happens when you get off Facebook for four weeks? Stanford researchers found out by Kurt Wagner, Recode - Definitely one “I Liked” and shared with my “Friends”

How much would you need to be paid to give up your Facebook account for four weeks?

That was the question a group of researchers from Stanford asked thousands of Facebook users last year in an effort to better understand how the social network affected issues such as political polarization and mental well-being.

The study — which paid some users to abandon Facebook and encouraged others to give it up by using just their self-control — found that cutting Facebook out of your life has a number of consequences. Many of them are positive.



Come with me this morning to the church within our hearts, where the bells are always ringing, and the preacher whose name is Love — shall intercede for us!
— Emily Dickinson

Four months before her twentieth birthday, Emily Dickinson (December 10, 1830–May 15, 1886) met the person who became her first love and remained her greatest — an orphaned mathematician-in-training by the name of Susan Gilbert, nine days her junior. Throughout the poet’s life, Susan would be her muse, her mentor, her primary reader and editor, her fiercest lifelong attachment, her “Only Woman in the World.”

Cup O' Coffee and the Sunday Paper

Hoping you’re having a loungy, lazy Sunday. Here’s a few of the articles I read this past week I liked quite a bit.


The producers mailed me a check via regular mail that had my name on it, no money taken out of it. Literally, it read “To Tony Hightower. The amount of 2-5-0-0-0-0.” I brought it into the bank, and I just showed it to the teller and was like, “What do I do with this?” The teller freaked out. “This is the biggest check I’ve ever seen in my life! You must be so blessed to have gotten this.” “I’m not blessed,” I said. “I worked for this. I answered 12 trivia questions.” Twelve trivia questions, $28,300 per question.



These Are the Americans Who Live in a Bubble. - Do Americans value sameness over difference?

Most Americans do not live in a totalizing bubble. They regularly encounter people of different races, ideologies, and religions. For the most part, they view these interactions as positive, or at least neutral.

Yet according to a new study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and The Atlantic, a significant minority of Americans do not live this way. They seldom or never meet people of another race. They dislike interacting with people who don’t share their political beliefs. And when they imagine the life they want for their children, they prize sameness, not difference. Education and geography seemed to make a big difference in how people think about these issues, and in some cases, so did age.



WHO SAYS I CAN'T - Amazing. Inspiring.

Rob Mendez is not only the most unique high school football coach in America, he's one of the most unique humans in the world. The biography of Nick Vujicic, a 36-year-old motivational speaker from Australia who also has tetra-amelia, says there are just seven known people living in the world today with the syndrome. Mendez doesn't buy it.

"There's no way," he says. "I can guarantee you there is someone with no arms and legs living in the mountains somewhere with a whole different story who isn't as active as we are. I agree it's a small percentage. A very small percentage. But seven? No way."

Even if it were true, Mendez wouldn't look at things that way. He has spent his life fighting statistics, proving doctors and doubters wrong. He despises the word "special."

The more we talk that night the more one word keeps popping up: How. How does he eat? How does he sleep? How does he go to the bathroom? How does he coach football?

Crazy In the Name of Love?

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of love? I thought my secret trip to Italy as a Christmas gift followed up by a surprise proposal atop a hill overlooking Florence was pretty crazy high up the love-o-meter until I read this:

Fell in love with my gondolier, 10 years my senior, while on my birthday gondola ride in Venice on my 33rd birthday, while sitting beside my Spouse of 9 years. Got divorced within 4 weeks of getting ‘home’ and I packed up and went back to Venice with only his email address, a photo and his promise to meet me at the airport. Which he did. We only managed to disentangle after 9 intense years of crazy love, lots of air miles and the tears which became too many.
— Anchorette

Read more nutso things people of done in the name of love (or lust) right here.

Throwback Thursday :: Gone But Not Forgotten (#4)

I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.
— Robin Williams

I read a quote a while back that said a person dies two deaths in their life. Once, when they die and again when the last person who remembers them dies. That's always stuck with me. With that in mind, Throwback Thursday will pay homage to those we've lost but not yet forgotten with the hopes of placing a memory in someone anew so they can live on a bit longer. Here's this weeks Gone, but Not Forgotten.

Robin Williams (1951-2014)

He was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.
— President Barack O'Bama
By Dave Itzkoff

Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Chicago-born, Williams started as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1951, Williams joined the drama club in high school and was accepted into Juilliard School in New York, the prestigious American academy for the arts.There, he was encouraged by a teacher to pursue comedy.

The actor was first known for his zany portrayal of an alien in the 1970s TV show Mork and Mindy, a character first seen in the sitcom Happy Days.

He was a regular stand-up comedian while continuing to act in such films as Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Mrs Doubtfire and as the voice of the genie in Aladdin.

While many of his roles were in comedies, Williams won the Oscar in 1998 for best supporting actor as a therapist in Good Will Hunting.

Robin Williams was never boring. He had so many memorable performances, it's impossible not to forget or overlook many of them. But here are a couple scenes that made Robin Williams so great in my eyes:

The world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence.
— Daughter Zelda Williams
One day in 1995 while riffing in the character of a snobby French toy store owner, Robin made me laugh so hard and so long that I cried. It seemed to please him to no end. Yesterday I cried again at the thought that he was gone. What I will always remember about Robin, perhaps even more than his comic genius, extraordinary talent, and astounding intellect, was his huge heart - his tremendous kindness, generosity, and compassion as an acting partner, colleague, and fellow traveler in a difficult world.
— Nathan Lane
Robin Williams was really one of the greatest comedians ever, ever, ever. In the history of the world, as far as I know it. Because he had all the things that [were] necessary to be a great comedic artist. He was sensitive, he was perceptive, he was empathic, his mental agility was astounding. He was full of love . . . And we felt it. And there was a humanity to Robin Williams. Robin Williams changed everything. There’s nobody that wasn’t touched by Robin Williams at some point. He was the king.
— Marc Maron

Jonathan Winters (1925-2013)

Did you ever undress in front of a dog?
— Jonathan Winters

Jonathan Harshman Winters III was an American comedian, actor, author, marine and artist. Robin Williams credited Jonathan Winters as his main comedic influence and idol. Williams first saw Winters on television at age 8 and paid him homage in interviews throughout his career. Williams was inspired by Winters's ingenuity, realizing, he said, "that anything is possible, that anything is funny. . . He gave me the idea that it can be free-form, that you can go in and out of things pretty easily." Winters never had to worry about anyone stealing his bits because no one else could do them.

Winters was born in Bellbrook, Ohio, to Alice Kilgore Rodgers, who later became a radio personality, and her husband Jonathan Harshman Winters II, an insurance agent who later became an investment broker.

When he was seven, his parents separated. Winters' mother took him to Springfield, Ohio, to live with his maternal grandmother. "Mother and dad didn't understand me; I didn't understand them," Winters told Jim Lehrer on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer in 1999. "So consequently it was a strange kind of arrangement." Alone in his room, he would create characters and interview himself. A poor student, Winters continued talking to himself and developed a repertoire of strange sound effects. He often entertained his high school friends by imitating a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

During his senior year, Winters quit school to join the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17 and served two and a half years in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Upon his return, he attended Kenyon College. He later studied cartooning at Dayton Art Institute, where he met Eileen Schauder, whom he married on September 11, 1948.


Winters' career started as a result of a lost wristwatch, about six or seven months after his marriage to Eileen in 1948. The newlyweds couldn't afford to buy another one. Then Eileen read about a talent contest in which the first prize was a wristwatch, and encouraged Jonathan to "go down and win it." She was certain he could, and he did. His performance led to a disc jockey job, where he was supposed to introduce songs and announce the temperature. Gradually his ad libs, personae, and antics took over the show.

After achieving some success in the Ohio radio market, Winters set out for success on a larger stage in New York City. He promised his wife he'd return to Dayton if did not make in a year. He had $56.46 in his pocket when he left. With a career spanning more than six decades, Winters also appeared in hundreds of television shows and films, including eccentric characters on The Steve Allen ShowThe Garry Moore ShowThe Wacky World of Jonathan WintersMork & MindyHee Haw, and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Eileen and Jonathan were married for more than 60 years. She died in 2009 of breast cancer and Jonathan passed away four years later of natural causes in Montecito, California.

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Throwback Thursday :: Gone...Not Forgotten (#3)

My father always read obituaries to me out loud, not because he was maudlin or morbid, but because they were mini biographies.
— Actor Bill Paxton

I read a quote a while back that said a person dies two deaths in their life. Once, when they die and again when the last person who remembers them dies. That's always stuck with me. With that in mind, Throwback Thursday will pay homage to those we've lost but not yet forgotten with the hopes of placing a memory in someone anew so they can live on a bit longer. Here's this weeks 5 who are gone...not forgotten.

1. Princess Diana (1961-1997)

Nothing brings me more happiness than trying to help the most vulnerable people in society. It is a goal and an essential part of my life - a kind of destiny. Whoever is in distress can call on me. I will come running wherever they are.
— Princess Diana

Diana, Princess of Wales was one of the world's most beloved people. She was a member of the British royal family as the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, the heir apparent to the British throne. She was the mother of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry. She was The People's Princess. As Prince Harry prepares to get married on May 19th, it's sad to think his mother will not be there on his wedding day. While the royal family will make Diana part of the wedding, it's still sad twenty plus years on to think of her and a legacy lost.

Her legacy for humanitarian work still continues to fascinate and inspire millions. Throughout her life, Diana was something of a rebel. She was one of the first very high profile people to be pictured touching those afflicted with AIDS this had a significant impact in changing people’s opinions and attitudes to the disease it was certainly a charity not following the protocol and tradition of the Royal family. Princess Diana said, “HIV does not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them hug heaven knows they need it.”

She was very at ease in meeting people from any background and even if they were ill or in hospices. Patients warmed to her life energy and heartfelt sympathy. Part of her appeal was her sympathy and natural compassion. As well as working on charities such as AIDS she lent her name to the campaign to bad landmines. Her personal support is said to have been a significant factor in encouraging Britain and then other countries to support the Ottawa Treaty which sought to introduce a ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines.

Diana was a tragic but fascinating woman. She felt pressure being a royal, but people were drawn to her because even though she was royalty, she did show vulnerability and still seemed very human. In his book, Diana: Her True Story--in Her Own Words, author Andrew Morton describes Diana as idealistic, naive, rebellious, and temperamental. "She was determined, hard-working, and a loving individual. She was a woman who battled with mental illness, the pressure of the press and the royal family, and with her unhappiness. Diana had very low-self-esteem. Throughout her life, her truest enemy was herself and she always strove to find confidence."

2. Patsy Cline (1932-1963)


Virginia Patterson Hensley, better known as Patsy Cline, was an American country music singer and part of the Nashville sound during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Her biggest songs included crossover hits, "Crazy", "I Fall To Pieces" and "Walking After Midnight." I believe she was one of the great all-time vocalists country or otherwise. She sang from her whole body. Sadly, she died in a plane crash in Camden Tennessee in 1963. In 1985, Jessica Lange starred in a movie biopic of Cline's life titled Sweet Dreams. I often wonder how many more songs Cline would have graced us with if she hadn't died so young.

3. Go Ask Alice (1971)

...a book that all teenagers and parents of teenagers should really read.
— The Boston Globe
Go Ask Alice
By Anonymous

Go Ask Alice is a 1971 fiction book about a teenage girl who develops a drug habit at age 15 and runs away from home on a journey of self-destructive escapism. I read a lot of Stephen King and Ray Bradbury when I was probably too young to read such things. I read The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer when I was in middle school. But Go Ask Alice was the first book to ever haunt me both during and after.

I watched a news report the other day about the opioid epidemic in my community and the first thing that popped into my head was Alice and her story of addiction. It was one of the first books I read that did not have a happy ending or even a thread of redemption in the end. The entire read is a raw spiral as you're along for the ride on Alice's drug addled rollercoaster ride. You know it's going to wind up off the rails. You know there will be no survivors. But it doesn't stop you from rooting like hell for her. Hoping against hope. Beating the inevitable.

I wonder if I re-read it today whether or not the book would hold up or would it seem preachy or less shocking to me today. With overdoses a daily occurrence, I think it should be something all teens and parents of teens should be adding to their reading lists.

4. Bill Paxton (1955-2017)

The world is a lesser place for his passing.
— Director James Cameron

William Paxton was an American actor and director. He appeared in films such as The Terminator, Weird Science, Aliens, Predator 2, Frailty, Tombstone, True Lies, Apollo 13, Twister, Titanic, U-571, Vertical Limit, Edge of Tomorrow, Nightcrawler and many, many more. For years, he was the guy whose name you didn't know, but you knew you liked him.


"First, I wanna butter your muffin." that line from Weird Science, while maybe not the most politically correct quote in the world, has been a part of my go-to lexicon nearly all my life (as a joke of course). What woman could resist that one? Or how about, "Game over, man! Game over!" or "We're on an express elevator to hell! Goin' down." Those two lines from Aliens have been with me since 1986. Paxton's charisma and energy brought life to bit parts in movies like True Lies, Titanic, Apollo 13, Nightcrawler, Tombstone, Next of Kin and Terminator. He simply made forgettable roles memorable and made it look easy. So easy, I took it for granted and then he died and I realized I should have appreciated him a lot more while he was alive. He died at age 61 in 2017 from complications during heart surgery.

5. Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld, so I can sigh eternally.
— Kurt Cobain

Leonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. He's a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriter's Hall of Fame. He also won many awards for his literature and poetry.

For me, it was his lyrics combined with a voice unlike any other. The blending of the two was like a perfect cocktail to make you musically drunk. His words and his voice could tell a story in a dream and make you wonder why you were feeling the way you were feeling. Often, it wouldn't make sense but you could sense something stirring inside as you listened to his songs. It'd be a real shame for future generations not to get lost in the works of Leonard Cohen.

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Throwback Thursday :: Gone But Not Forgotten (#2)

Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you.
— Ogden Nash

I read a quote a while back that said a person dies two deaths in their life. Once, when they die and again when the last person who remembers them dies. That's always stuck with me. With that in mind, Throwback Thursday will pay homage to those we've lost but not yet forgotten with the hopes of placing a memory in someone anew so they can live on a bit longer. Here's this weeks 5 who are gone, but not forgotten.

1. Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)

I don’t think I’m going to be at all famous. I don’t think I could handle it. I would probably go mad.
— Amy Winehouse

Amy Jade Winehouse was an English singer and songwriter. She was known for her deep, expressive contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres, including soul, rhythm and blues, and jazz. I didn't listen to Amy Winehouse very much until after she died. If I had, her passing would have affected me much more deeply at the time. Her voice is utterly amazing  conveying both rock hard strength and human vulnerability at once.

2. Ogden Nash (1902-1971)


Frederic Ogden Nash was an American poet well known for his light verse, of which he wrote over 500 pieces. With his unconventional rhyming schemes, he was declared the country's best-known producer of humorous poetry. He was one of the first poets I read that wasn't stodgy nor fanciful with his prose; just came across as playing with words like he was messing around like a child with clay.

Everybody Tells Me Everything.jpg

3. Utah Phillips (1935-2008)

Bruce Duncan "Utah" Phillips was an American labor organizer, folk singer, storyteller, poet and the "Golden Voice of the Great Southwest". He described the struggles of labor unions and the power of direct action, self-identifying as an anarchist. I was first introduced to Utah's work by folksinger Ani DiFranco when she collaborated with Utah on 1996's The Past Didn't Go Anywhere in which she incorporated many of Utah's stories and songs into her own instrumentals. Phillip's seemed to be a man born out of time; a storyteller from yesteryear with a stellar sense of timing and spinning a tale.

Recommended listening:

Good Though! by Utah Phillips (1973)

The Past Didn't Go Anywhere by Ani DiFranco and Utah Phillips (1996)

Fellow Workers by Ani DiFranco and Utah Phillips (1999)

The Moscow Hold by Utah Phillips (1999)

4. Helen Thomas (1920-2013)

I respect the office of the presidency, but I never worship at the shrines of our public servants. They owe us the truth.
— Helen Thomas

Helen Amelia Thomas was an American reporter and author best known for her longtime membership in the White House press corps. Thomas covered every President of the United States from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. Unintimidated by presidents or press secretaries, Ms. Thomas was known as the dean of the White House press corps for almost 60 years. Thomas was a short, dark-eyed woman with a gravelly voice who, for many years, rose from her front-row seat at presidential news conferences to ask the first or second question. For nearly 30 years, she closed the sessions with a no-nonsense “Thank you, Mr. President.”

5. Otis Redding (1941-1967)

Otis Ray Redding Jr. was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger, and talent scout. He is considered one of the greatest singers in the history of American popular music and a seminal artist in soul music and rhythm and blues. The first time I heard him sing "These Arms of Mine" my hair stood on end and his voice seemed to make any song he sang come alive like never before.

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Throwback Thursday :: Gone But Not Forgotten (#1)

And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief.
— William Cullen Bryant

I read a quote a while back that said a person dies two deaths in their life. Once, when they die and again when the last person who remembers them dies. That's always stuck with me. With that in mind, Throwback Thursday will pay homage to those we've lost but not yet forgotten with the hopes of placing a memory in someone anew so they can live on a bit longer. Here's this weeks 5 who are gone, but not forgotten.

1. Walter Cronkite (1916-2009)

Walter Leland Cronkite Jr. was an American broadcast journalist who served as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years (1962–1981). During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America" after being so named in an opinion poll.

He reported many events from 1937 to 1981, including bombings in World War II; the Nuremberg trials; combat in the Vietnam War; Watergate; the Iran Hostage Crisis; and the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr., and Beatles musician John Lennon.

His memoir A Reporter's Life is poignant, entertaining and humorous storytelling at its best. Highly recommended.

A Reporter's Life
By Walter Cronkite

2. Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004)

He was just simply the greatest stand-up comedian there ever was.
— Jay Leno

3. Eva Cassidy (1963-1996)

I cannot listen to her music much. But I do in the autumn. I have to listen to her when I see the falling leaves. But I have to be on my own, and very, very quiet.
— Barbara Cassidy (Eva's Mother)

Eva Marie Cassidy was an American singer and guitarist.  In 1992, she released her first album, The Other Side. Although she had been honored by the Washington Area Music Association, she was virtually unknown outside her native Washington, D.C. She died of cancer at 33, without a record contract, never having got further in life than temporary jobs and rented flats a bus ride from the house where she grew up.

Two years after her death, her versions of "Fields of Gold" and "Over the Rainbow" were played  on BBC Radio. Following the overwhelming response, a camcorder recording of "Over the Rainbow", taken at Blues Alley in Washington was also shown on BBC. Shortly afterwards, the compilation album Songbird climbed to the top of the UK Albums Charts, almost three years after its initial release. The chart success in the United Kingdom and Ireland led to increased recognition worldwide. Her posthumously released recordings, including three UK number-one records, have sold more than ten million copies. Her music has also charted top 10 positions in Australia, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.

4. Sue Grafton (1940-2017)

With every page I wished: Kinsey Millhone, be my friend. Beyond that [she] showed me how a female series heroine could work ... I thought: Yes. Give me more. And let me learn to write fiction that aspires to be as good.
— Author Meg Gardiner

Sue Grafton was a trailblazing writer of American detective stories. Her 25 novels featuring the private eye Kinsey Millhone, which began with A is for Alibi in 1982 and extended through the alphabet to Y is for Yesterday (2016), established the hard-boiled female detective as a viable alternative to the males who had dominated the genre.

Novelist Jeff Abbott said what I loved most about Grafton's leading lady, “Kinsey was a different kind of character,” he said. “She was modern. She had problems like mine, like living between pay cheques and sometimes spending too much time alone; a rich inner life. A lot of the story was about her life, in addition to the case she was trying to solve.”

This interview is a bit long but I feel it gives real insight into who Sue Grafton was as a person and as an author:

5. River Phoenix (1970-1993)

He was, without question, the best of that group of actors that came up at that time. Movie stardom is not just acting talent. It’s not just your ability to move an audience. It’s a combination of a lot of things. And he had it. He died so young that it was a real theft. A real robbery.
— Richard Dreyfuss

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Seeing Is Deceiving

Only when the design fails does it draw attention to itself; when it succeeds, it’s invisible.
— John D. Barry

Seeing Is Deceiving

British tile company Casa Ceramica grew tired of people running in the hallway. The came up with a unique solution and designed a novel optical illusion flooring system that uses real tiles to create a vertigo-inducing warped floor. The skewed checkerboard floor functions as the entryway to their showroom in Manchester, lending an Alice in Wonderland atmosphere to a generally traditional medium. You can see a couple more photos on their Instagram.

4-Mation DIY Tabletop Animations

Another UK company 4-Mation has created a DIY kit that allows users to make their own ultra-realistic animations. The kit uses synchronized strobes and carousel rotation to animate objects as though they pop to life in 3D.

Jane Zhang "Dust My Shoulders Off"

Eleven famous Western art paintings come alive in this stunning music video for “Dust My Shoulders Off” by Chinese pop star Jane Zhang.


British Contemporary Artist Alan Coulson

British contemporary artist Alan Coulson’s works focus predominantly in portraiture. I like Alan's work because even though it is extremely detailed, it never ventures too far into hyperrealistic territory and still remains a painting. See more of his work here, and keep updated on his latest via Instagram.

Smartify Is Shazam For Art

Smartify is an augmented reality art-identifier for iOS and Android that’s since been adopted by over 30 museums worldwide. Smartify has a foothold in fine art at places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The Royal Academy of Art in London. From oil paintings to marble sculptures, just aim and identify. You don’t even need to hit a button to take a photo.

Walk This Way

Ísafjörður, Iceland is a quiet fishing town and one of the last places you'd think you'd find a flashy piece of artwork right in the middle of the road. But that's exactly where you'll find this flashy pedestrian crosswalk: a traditional set of white zebra-stripes painted to appear three dimensional. See more in Iceland Magazine.

Nike VaporFly Elite FlyPrint

Computational Design and 3D Printing are game changers and now Nike is marrying the two into the design of a new prototype shoe for elite runners.

Thinking Outside The Box...Mind Blown


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