Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Superhero Summer

Summer 2011 was the summer of the superhero in film: "Thor,” “X-Men: First Class,” "Green Lantern” and "Captain America: The First Avenger."
Imagine if these superheroes really existed.
Would you feel safer knowing there's a hammer-wielding Norse god down the block?  Perhaps. Though, at what cost?
I personally think they'd be a drain on the economy.  The amount of destruction caused to catch criminals would cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions to repair. To compensate the amount of money spent, tax increases affecting the corporations that sponsor superheroes might be incurred. Then, how would the corporations expense their intergalactic recruiting trips?
I know superheroes are trying to save the Earth and all, though, clearly, certain guidelines must exist from small to large scale.  If Thor returns to Earth, he can't go around to diners smashing mugs and dishes.  Things are hard enough for small business owners.  I know he only did it once, before he became humble.  But, sometimes old habits are hard to break.  And the amount of money the state of New Mexico would have to shell out for Thor's hammer-habit would be cosmic.  Then there’s the question of his status.  If Thor comes back to live with Jane Foster, would he be considered an illegal immigrant unless they marry? Would he qualify for non-resident alien status?
The X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants have way too much drama going on between each other for the X-Men to have a clear focus on saving the world. The affairs, vendettas and personal issues -- remember Wolverine’s back story?  Also, I think the X-Men are a little vain with their superpowers.  They might turn all “Hollywood” on us, and go on tour with Lady Gaga or something.
And, what about preserving the environment?  The Green Lantern isn’t “green.” In order to defeat criminals he expels fists of green energy into the atmosphere.  That could lead to further damage to the ozone layer.  We’re already dealing with global warming.
What also concerns me are the personal issues some superheroes have.  Captain American was "asleep" for 70 years.  Is he emotionally stable?  I think he might need some therapy sessions to find himself again.  He also doesn't have a clue about globalization, the Internet or smartphones.  Such knowledge is helpful in international crime-fighting.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Can't Get to D.C.? Visit an MLK Landmark Near You

Initiated by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. more than 20 years ago, propelled by the foundation they created for their goal and with the ultimate approval of Congress, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial is now a reality. Located in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., the monument opened to the public Aug. 22.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial
in Washington, D.C.; photo provided
Dr. King is the first African-American (and non-president) to have a major monument built in his honor along the National Mall. Hurricane Irene might have postponed the official dedication scheduled for Aug. 28, the 48th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech to Oct. 16, but just like King’s legacy, the memorial is here to stay.
If you don’t live in the D.C. area, yet want to feel connected to this historical moment, maybe there's an MLK memorial or landmark close to your area.  Hopefully, I can get to D.C. soon, but in the meantime I decided to visit the memorial closest to me, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Landmark Memorial on North Flagler Drive in Currie Park in West Palm Beach, Fla.  Completed in 2004, it’s positioned right along the Intracoastal Waterway.
Behind the bust of Dr. King reading the Holy Bible is a granite wall with continuous running water. On the opposite side, is a concrete wall with engraved excerpts of his speeches, along with a timeline of his life.  There are also flagpoles flying international flags, noting the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s global influence. (The Washington Post recently published an article listing sites around the globe that honor him. Read here)  
Below are photos I took today of West Palm Beach's MLK memorial, using my iPhone.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Landmark Memorial on North Flagler Drive in Currie Park in West Palm Beach, Fla. 


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chicago's Lakeside View

I believe each city has its own charisma and charm. I've only been to Chicago in the summer, so I only know of the cool breeze Lake Michigan provides on hot days. Though, I hear during the winter months, the lake effect is bone chilling. Even so, I think the city's charisma and charm includes the lake, which is 307 miles in length, 118 miles wide, turquoise blue and is bordered by the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana.  It almost appears like the Atlantic Ocean seen from Florida shores. The Navy Pier gives you a picturesque view. I happened to be in town during the Taste of Tall Ships. Here are some of my photos:

The Lynx, a schooner,  interprets the general configuration and operation of a privateer schooner or naval schooner from the War of 1812.