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san pedro sunset

Not mine.

san pedro sunset

Just in from my stepmother-in-law. I could see it from Hollywood. Look at those colors.


Readers have cast their votes over at movies.com for the biggest snubs and biggest surprises of the 2015 Academy Award nominations.

I’m onboard with Gyllenhaal getting snubbed for Nightcrawler and American Sniper being nominated for Best Picture.

What Was the Biggest Oscar Snub of 2015?

1. The Lego Movie for Best Animated Feature
2. Jake Gyllenhaal for Best Actor in Nightcrawler
3. Gone Girl for Best Adapted Screenplay
4. Interstellar for Best Cinematography
5. David Oyelowo for Best Actor for Selma
6. Guardians of the Galaxy for Best Adapted Screenplay
7. Ralph Fiennes for Best Actor for the Grand Budapest Hotel
8. Snowpiercer for Best Production Design
9. Life Itself for Best Documentary
10. The Hobbit: the Battle of the Five Armies for Best Visual Effects
11. Ava Duvernay for Best Director for Selma
12. Force Majeure for Best Foreign Language Film
13. Tilda Swinton for Best Supporting Actress in Snowpiercer
14. Interstellar for Best Picture
15. Josh Brolin for Best Supporting Actor for Inherent Vice
16. Jessica Chastain for Best Supporting Actress in a Most Violent Year
17. Jennifer Aniston for Best Actress in Cake
18. Foxcatcher for Best Picture
19. Unbroken for Best Picture
20. The Overnighters for Best Documentary

What Was the Biggest Surprise Oscar Nomination of 2015?

1. American Sniper for Best Picture
2. Bradley Cooper for Best Actor for American Sniper
3. Robert Duvall for Best Supporting Actor for the Judge
4. Marion Cotillard for Best Actress for Two Days, One Night
5. Captain America: the Winter Soldier for Best Visual Effects
6. Laura Dern for Best Supporting Actress in Wild
7. Song of the Sea for Best Animated Feature
8. Whiplash for Best Picture
9. Bennett Miller for Best Director for Foxcatcher
10. The Tale of Princess Kaguya for Best Animated Feature
11. “Everything Is Awesome” for Best Song for The Lego Movie
12. The Grand Budapest Hotel for Best Picture
13. Inherent Vice for Best Adapted Screenplay
14. Selma for Best Picture
15. Foxcatcher for Best Original Screenplay
16. Ida for Best Cinematography
17. Nightcrawler for Best Original Screenplay
18. Interstellar for Best Sound Mixing
19. Wes Anderson for Best Director for the Grand Budapest Hotel
20. Virunga for Best Documentary

The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 29 years ago this morning. Where were you? I was a junior at San Pedro High School. It was second period; I was picking up “Work Experience” credits as an admin assistant for Mrs. Calise down in the main office. Running dittos and stuff. And probably smelling each one.

Here’s the speech President Reagan gave that night. He was actually scheduled to give his State of the Union address, but scrapped it for obvious reasons.

The transcript:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.

Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we’ve never lost an astronaut in flight. We’ve never had a tragedy like this.

And perhaps we’ve forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. But they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.

We mourn their loss as a nation together.

For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we’re thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, “Give me a challenge, and I’ll meet it with joy.” They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us.

We’ve grown used to wonders in this century. It’s hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We’ve grown used to the idea of space, and, perhaps we forget that we’ve only just begun. We’re still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s take-off. I know it’s hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.

I’ve always had great faith in and respect for our space program. And what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don’t hide our space program. We don’t keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That’s the way freedom is, and we wouldn’t change it for a minute.

We’ll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue.

I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA, or who worked on this mission and tell them: “Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it.”

There’s a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, “He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it.” Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake’s, complete.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”

Thank you.

challenger crew

flight videos deconstructed

(More great stuff like this over at Tabletop Whale)