Sunday, September 20, 2015

Cool Clock UnCool President

CP tends to avoid news of national interest. But it is just too prefect when the national media jumps on a story and before the facts roll out, the President jumps in with "Cool Clock"

In the past he's accused cops as acting stupid, claiming if he had a son, he'd look like Trayvon Martin; claiming just about anything to make himself relevant.

As before once the facts sort out Obama looks rather uncool.

Turns out Ahmed Mohamed is a pawn in his father's quest for fame and media attention. 

The "cool clock" kid received an overwhelming amount of praise for his ability to build a clock. 

Obama, Hillary even Mark Zuckerburg weighed in on the kids's amazing talent.

There's even a go fund me style account that is well on its way to raising one hundred thousand dollars for the computer wiz kid. 

But the sad truth is Ahmed didn't build the clock, rather he took a 1980s style radio alarm clock out of its case and mounted it in a small metal pencil box. 

Taking an 8 inch clock and sticking in in a 8 1/4 inch box is c
ertainly creative, just not worthy of a scholarship to MIT. Or an invitation to The White House. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Upcoming Hollywood Films By Release Date

It's harvest time, so get ready for a bumper crop of Hollywood films leading up to Christmas Day.
Yep, its only 98 days til December 25th but you can count on some of these films won't last a few weeks and others will be a lock for Oscar nods. 
CP's Pick's: The first "Black Mass" and the last "Point Break" are the really the only films of interest. Expect that Point Break will miss unless they can capture the epic surf action of the first Point Break.
Oscar buzz will soar with the Libtard P/C crowd swooning over The Danish Girl, Spotlight, and Stonewall. The Martian and Jobs may disappoint, but there are a couple of gems out there as well.  "Time Out Of Mind" may be Richard Gere's most committed role. Star Wars and The Dark Horse best known and least known will get Oscar attention.
Check back in December and see if any of CP's picks pan out.
SEPT. 18
BLACK MASS Real life + “The Departed” + “GoodFellas” = this, with Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, Benedict Cumberbatch as his brother Bill, and Joel Edgerton as FBI agent John Connolly.
CAPTIVE An escaped murder (David Oyelowo) encounters a recovering drug addict (Rooney Mara) and takes her hostage.
EVEREST A massive storm hits the mountain. Can climbers Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington, and Robin Wright survive?
MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS Having escaped in last year’s “The Maze Runner,” Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario and the Gladers now have to figure what to do next. 
SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE Years after a college fling, Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie try to help each other with their problem with commitment.

SEPT. 25

THE INTERN Nancy Meyers (“Something’s Gotta Give”) wrote and directed this comedy about a retiree (Robert De Niro) who interns for the founder (Anne Hathaway) of an online company.
A BRILLIANT YOUNG MIND The mind in question belongs to a troubled English teen (Asa Butterfield) who puts his talents to use in the International Mathematics Olympiad.
COMING HOME Love and history collide in this drama about a couple (Gong Li and Chen Daoming) separated by the Cultural Revolution and a brain injury. Zhang Yimou directed. 
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 In this sequel to the 2012 animated feature, it’s no longer monsters-only at the title hostelry. Complications ensue.
PAWN SACRIFICE It’s Cold War chess in 1972, with Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber) contending for the world championship in Reykjavik.
STONEWALL A young man (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) comes of age politically and sexually at the time of the 1969 Stonewall riots.
SEPT. 30
THE WALK Robert Zemeckis directed and co-wrote this real-life drama about Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his 1974 Twin Towers tightrope walk.
Other September openings:The Second Mother; The NewGirlfriend; Cooties; Goodnight Mommy; Gueros; Fidelio: Alice’s Odyssey; Misunderstood; The Quay Brothers in 35mm.
OCT. 1 
BREATHE This French drama, actress Mélanie Laurent’s second directorial effort, follows the darkening course of a friendship between two teenage girls. 
OCT. 2
THE MARTIAN A Mars mission leaves an astronaut (Matt Damon) stranded. Can he be rescued? Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Jeff Daniels costar. Ridley Scott directed.
SICARIO Government agents Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Jon Bernthal, and Benicio Del Toro battle Mexican drug lords.
99 HOMES A construction worker (Andrew Garfield) loses his home to a sleazy real estate broker (Michael Shannon) – then goes to work for him. 
ADDICTED TO FRESNO Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne play sisters who work as hotel maids in this very dark comedy. Aubrey Plaza turns up as an unusual love interest.
THE KEEPING ROOM In this historical drama, three women (Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, Muna Otaru) must fend for themselves as the Civil War draws to a close.
MISSISSIPPI GRIND Writer-director team Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck offer this tale of two gamblers (Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn) in search of a Southern hot streak. 
TIME OUT OF MIND Richard Gere plays a homeless man whose friendship with another guest at a shelter helps him renew his relationship with his daughter (Jena Malone).
OCT. 9
STEVE JOBS Michael Fassbender stars as the Apple Computer visionary. Danny Boyle directed Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography.
FREEHELD A police lieutenant (Julianne Moore), diagnosed with a terminal illness, fights to get her partner (Ellen Page) pension benefits. Based on a true story.
LEGEND Tom Hardy times two: He plays the legendary London gangster twin brothers the Krays, in this biopic written and directed by Brian Helgeland.
PAN This new version of “Peter Pan” stars Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried, and, as Captain Hook, Garrett Hedlund.
BIG STONE GAP Adriana Trigiani’s comic romantic novel about a “spinster” in a small Appalachian town comes to the screen. Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson, and Jane Krakowski star.
OCT. 16
BRIDGE OF SPIES Steven Spielberg directed this based-on-fact story about a prisoner exchange between the CIA and KGB at the height of the Cold War. Tom Hanks stars. 
CRIMSON PEAK Who better to make a haunted-house tale than Guillermo del Toro? Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, and Tom Hiddleston head the cast.
BEASTS OF NO NATION Cary Fukunaga wrote and directed this adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s novel about an African child soldier. Idris Elba stars.
GOOSEBUMPS Real life meets reel life, as the supposedly fictitious demons of best-selling children’s horror author R.L. Stine (Jack Black) afflict a Maryland town. 
LABYRINTH OF LIES In this German historical drama, a journalist and prosecutor in 1958 seek to reveal the truth about Nazi atrocities.
OCT. 23
ROCK THE KASBAH A washed-up music promoter (Bill Murray) hopes a young Afghan singer will be his meal ticket. Barry Levinson directed the comedy. 
ASTHMA A stolen Rolls-Royce, a rock musician (Benedict Samuel), a tattoo artist (Krysten Ritter): It’s a love story.
BURNT Bradley Cooper stars as a former superstar Paris chef determined to make a comeback in London. Also in the cast are Alicia Vikander, Lily James, Uma Thurman, and Sienna Miller.
JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS A live-action version of the popular ’80s TV cartoon about three teen girls hoping to make it big in the music biz. 
THE LAST WITCH HUNTER Witches better watch out! Vin Diesel, as the title character, is on the case.
ROOM A young woman (Brie Larson) and her 5-year-old son deal with having been imprisoned in a single room for years. Joan Allen and William H. Macy costar.

OCT. 30
OUR BRAND IS CRISIS In this comedy-drama, a group of US political consultants do their thing in South America. Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, and Zoe Kazan star.
SUFFRAGETTE Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, and Meryl Streep star in this historical drama about the fight for female suffrage in early-20th-century Britain.
TRUTHRobert Redford is Dan Rather, and Cate Blanchett his producer Mary Mapes, in this real-life story about what’s fact, what’s fiction, and what’s news.
I SMILE BACK There’s a twist to this drama about a married mother with a history of very bad behavior who tries to straighten out her life: Sarah Silverman plays the mother.
SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE Think of it as the ultimate scouting jamboree — and the toughest way to earn a merit badge. 
Other October openings:Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension; Victoria; Bare.

NOV. 6
SPECTRE Daniel Craig is back as James Bond. Keeping him on his toes are Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, and Christoph Waltz.
SPOTLIGHT Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams star in this based-on-fact story about the Spotlight Team of The Boston Globe and the Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal.
BROOKLYN Colm Tóibín’s acclaimed novel about ’50s New York and a young Irish immigrant (Saoirse Ronan) comes to the screen. 
THE PEANUTS MOVIE Charlie Brown and the gang are back, in this animated feature based on the Charles Schulz comic strip. 
MISS YOU ALREADY There are laughs as well as tears when two friends (Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette) find themselves on divergent paths.
NOV. 13 
THE 33 Antonio Banderas, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Juliette Binoche star in this real-life drama about 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for more than two months.
BY THE SEA Angelina Jolie wrote and directed this story of a couple (Jolie and Brad Pitt) dealing with marital difficulties as they travel through the South of France.
TRUMBO Bryan Cranston plays the title role in this biopic about blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.
LOVE THE COOPERS Consider the comic possibilities when four generations collide at one Christmas table. Amanda Seyfried, Ed Helms, Diane Keaton, and John Goodman star.
NOV. 20 
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 2 The saga of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) concludes. 
SECRET IN THEIR EYES Julia Roberts and Chiwetel Ejiofor are FBI agents, and Nicole Kidman is a district attorney, in a story of murder committed and trust betrayed.

NOV. 25
THE GOOD DINOSAUR What if dinosaurs hadn’t gone extinct? Well, for one thing, maybe they’d have humans for pets. Or so assumes this latest animated feature from Pixar.
CREED As in Apollo Creed — Rocky Balboa’s boxing nemesis. Yes, Sylvester Stallone’s pug is back. He’s training Apollo’s son, Adonis (Michael B. Jordan), for the ring.
THE NIGHT BEFORE Three guys (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie) go in search of the ultimate Christmas party. Lizzy Caplan costars. 
VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN James McAvoy plays the title character. Daniel Radcliffe plays his assistant, Igor. And? The movie’s told from Igor’s point of view.
Other November openings:
The Hallow; The Wonders; Rings; My All American; Mediterranea.
DEC. 4
MACBETH Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard are the ultimate Shakespearean power couple. With Paddy Considine as Banquo and David Thewlis as Duncan.
KRAMPUS Santa gives good people gifts at Christmas, right? In this comic horror story, a demon does the opposite. Coal in your stocking is the least of it.
YOUTH A famous conductor (Michael Caine) is being urged to come out of retirement. Paolo Sorrentino (“The Great Beauty”) directed. Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, and Jane Fonda costar.
DEC. 11
THE DANISH GIRL Eddie Redmayne is the title character in this biopic about the first male-to-female transsexual.
IN THE HEART OF THE SEA Chris Hemsworth and Cillian Murphy star in this 19th-century whaling saga directed by Ron Howard. Based on Nathan Philbrick’s award-winning book.
I SAW THE LIGHT Tom Hiddleston plays Hank Williams in this biopic about the country-and-western great.
THE DARK HORSE A based-on-fact New Zealand film about a chess champion (Cliff Curtis) who battles bipolar disorder.
DEC. 18
STAR WARS: EPISODE VII — THE FORCE AWAKENS A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away 
. . . it’s on J.J. Abrams to show us what happens next. 
CAROL A young woman (Rooney Mara) falls in love with an older, married woman (Cate Blanchett) in the 1950s. Todd Haynes directed this adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel.
SISTERS Tina Fey and Amy Poehler play siblings who want to throw one last party in the house they grew up in before their parents sell it. 
SON OF SAUL Two days in the life of an Auschwitz inmate. Winner of this year’s Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.
DEC. 23
45 YEARS A couple (Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay) are about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. Until, that is, a frozen corpse turns up in the Alps.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP Suspecting that Dave (Jason Lee) is about to get engaged, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore have their work cut out for them.
DEC. 25
THE HATEFUL EIGHT Having made a semi-western, with “Django Unchained,” Quentin Tarantino goes whole hog. Channing Tatum, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Samuel L. Jackson star.
JOY Writer-director David O. Russell reunites with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro for this story of Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano.
THE REVENANT In his first film after “Birdman,” Alejandro González Iñárritu directed and co-wrote this story of an 1820s frontiersman seeking vengeance. Leonardo DiCaprio stars.
SNOWDEN Oliver Stone directed this drama about NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Zachary Quinto plays journalist Glenn Greenwald.
CONCUSSION Will Smith stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu, in this real-life story of the neuropathologist who discovered the football-related brain trauma CTE.
EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE Wim Wenders directed this drama about the aftermath of a fatal auto accident. James Franco, Rachel McAdams, and Charlotte Gainsbourg star.
DADDY’S HOME Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell star in this comedy about two dads who are part of the same family.
POINT BREAK A remake of the 1991 movie — except this time the gang being infiltrated consists of extreme athletes, not surfers. Edgar Ramirez and Luke Bracey star.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Death and Blue Lights Sobering Contrast to High End Awards Event OneBlock Away

Saturday night found 200 of Charlotte's beautiful people gathering to honor... well Charlotte's other beautiful people.
At 7:00 p.m. Saturday the 2nd annual Mosaic Awards were handed out to three supporters of The Behailu Academy.  

Dan Clodfelter, Bea Thompson and Casey Crawford were honored by academy founder and former Carolina Panthers back office staffer Deedee Mills. 

Just a block away Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officers were sorting through a crime scene that left two young women dead and a young man charged with crimes that if convicted could send him to prison for the next 20 years.

The stark contrast wasn't missed by the many guests who had to detour around the maze of blue lights, CMPD cruisers, Medic and Charlotte Fire vehicles that had responded to the crash of the stolen car on Wilkinson Boulevard shortly before the event began.

The night's event was held at the Carolina Golf Club. Founded nearly 100 years ago at a time when the area was considered out in the country, the hilly farmland on the outskirts of Charlotte made the perfect location for a new golf course. Today the view of the Bank of America tower from the perfectly maintained club house lawn offers no hint of the struggling West Charlotte community that surrounds the 18 hole Donald Ross designed course.

It is the same community and the same youth of Charlotte that The Behailu Academy seeks to serve and help chart a course in life that provides avoidance of the scene that unfolded around the corner from the club house. The gathering of gentlemen in jackets, ladies in heels and short skirts each wearing party rings, with red, blue and yellow flashing lights that oddly echoed the accident scene on the Wilkinson Blvd, was a great success raising money for the innovated arts academy.
The aftermath of the crash was still visible as a light rain began to fall around 9:30 and the patrons of The Behailu Academy event headed home. The rain slick streets reflecting the lights of a lone wrecker removing the crumpled car from the street.

Late Sunday CMPD released the names of the victims, as 22-year-old Sarah Love who died at the scene and Jennifer Taggart, 17 who died Sunday night of her injuries.

Jennifer Taggart

The driver Kenneth Goggins remains in the Mecklenburg County Jail. Goggins has numerous prior convections on drugs and weapons charges including armed robbery.
According to CMPD, detectives received a license plate reader hit on a stolen 2008 gold Kia Rio at about 6:30 p.m. on Central Avenue. CMPD was able to use traffic cameras to monitor the Rio’s movements and the Aviation Unit helicopter was deployed.

A CMPD Officer attempted to stop the car but the driver elected to the flee. The Officer broke off the pursuit several blocks before the accident due to traffic in the area and the fact that CMPD's Snoopy II helo was over head.

Behailu Academy is an arts based initiative helping kids in middle and high school break out of the cycle of poverty, crime, drugs and bad choices. 


Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11 One Man's Recollection

There are things that tie this nation together, Pearl Harbor, Challenger, and 9/11 as it has come to be known. But now 14 years on, many people not directly affected by the great loss of life or living in New York at the time may have forgotten the hours immediately after the first plane roared into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Certainly anyone over the age of 25 understands what happened that day, but still only a small number of Americans know what New York was like during the attack and in the first hours after.

CP was thankfully not in New York on September 11th having left the city two days prior. I watched the second plane impact the South Tower live on television. The rest of the day is a distant memory, except for the silence in the air that afternoon. Unknown to me one of my colleagues a fellow investment professional was at ground zero.

His story arrived 2 days later via fax my office. The following images are of that fax that I've kept in my top desk drawer for the last 14 years. Today I'm sharing one man's story unedited (note you will have to click on each image to enlarge):

CP's thoughts: I'm still stunned at what happened that crystal clear Carolina morning in September and the reaction of two people apparently unmoved and so self centric that they chose that moment to, in the case of Anna Schreiber to complain about a broken towel bar in her apartment and in the case Alan Henderson, raged over the phone that I "damn sure better be in Houston on Monday, even if you have to drive".

The September 11 attacks and more so Schreiber and Henderson changed my outlook on life, work and family.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

KKK Targets Former CMPD Deputy Chief Medlock Seriously? Meh!

In a word, Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock is angry. He says the KKK left a racist flyer on his front lawn and he told ABC11 he believes he was the target.

Now, he has a message for the white supremacist group.

"When you start trying to intimidate people I take it seriously. When you try to intimidate me I take it seriously," said Medlock. "If they have a problem with me, I'll be happy to meet them anytime anywhere and well will discuss their issues with me."

The chief wasn't the only one to get the plastic bag with a Confederate flag, a piece of candy, and a recruiting flyer. The flyers were put out in the Vanstory neighborhood to apparently a select group of residents. Not everyone got a flyer.

The rest of the news piece is here. Cedar's Take:

CP Side Bar: While Fayettville's Chief wears the traditional 2 stars of a North Carolina Police Chiet on his collar he has borrowed a slight of hand move from Rodney Monroe and "upgraded" his badge to 4 stars.

Cedar's Take: Medlock is such a hubris dictator that of course he would think he was targeted. But his selfcentric focus only gave the KKK nut bags what they wanted, free publicity. In Cedar's opinion the citizens of Fayetteville deserve better in the department ledarship, rank and file never deserved a moron and city leadership should pay their attention bill.

Hat tip to Jeff Taylor @TheFree_Lance 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Charlotte Attorney Chad Tillman Rats Out Fellow Airline Passenger ForTexting

The social media reaction was predictable, but not what this Charlotte lawyer had apparently hoped for, proving once again that the general public is still pretty much in awe of pilots and sort of "meh" on attorneys.
From the Charlotte Observer:
An airline pilot, flying as a passenger on a recent flight from Charlotte, was caught on camera texting on his cellphone while the plane was taking off – in violation of federal rules.
Chad Tillman, a Charlotte resident who was on the Aug. 14 flight from Charlotte to Tampa, used his own cellphone to capture video of the unidentified pilot as he texted.

Charlotte lawyer Chad Tillman says he was disturbed
 to see a pilot ignoring federal rules on a
recent flight. Photo courtesy of Chad Tillman

The flight was operated by American Airlines, but the pilot worked for a different airline, a spokeswoman for American said.

Soon after landing in Florida, Tillman wrote a letter to American Airlines CEO Doug Parker to express his concern.
“I am sure he is a good pilot, but even a small lapse in judgment in his profession can get people killed, and it bothers me that he can so casually disregard FAA regulations in the public view,” Tillman wrote. “I fear what he may be doing in the cockpit that could jeopardize passenger safety.”
American Airlines declined to identify the pilot or the airline he worked for.
“I do know the other airline addressed the issue with the pilot,” American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said.
Tillman, a Charlotte patent attorney, said his own smartphone was set to airplane mode when he took the video of the texting pilot.
On previous flights, he said, attendants have told him to turn his cellphone off. So he said he was initially annoyed – and later disturbed – to see a pilot ignoring the rules.
“I started thinking, ‘They’ve got these rules in place for a reason,’” Tillman said. “… The pilots, more than anyone, should know those rules and obey them.”

The public scorn that followed was overwhelmingly in favor of two things, first the pilot and the fact that texting while flying will bring down an aircraft and second Chad should mind his own business.

Here's just a small sampling:
"I bet this guy was beaten up on the playground one too many times in elementary school. Did the planecrash? No. Do you know why? Because it's a freaking TEXT MESSAGE. Grow up!"

"This guy is a complete tool and a coward. If he had any testicular fortitude whatsoever, he would havesaid something directly when it happened. If he was really worried about anyone's safety as claimed, he would have addressed the issue immediately. Total j@cka$$."

"Hey Chad, When has there been a plane crash been caused by a text message? Never. Worry about terroists and not a fricken text message for god sake"

"There are also laws concerning vehicle speed limits, DWI, red lights and stop signs. I hope Mr. Tillmanobeys each and every law of the land......if not, let's hope someone can get a video of him breaking the law. Just not be a hypocrite; or a shyster."

"He's a pussy. Texting does nothing to an aircraft. The FCC is the one who has the limitation, hence the FAA by default. Someone needs to shove something in the drainpipe of this windbag lawyer."

"and then this dbag goes ridiculously further & questions his piloting skills when he's "in the cockpit". Then again he is a lawyer...Shakespeare was right"

Saving the best for last:

"What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A great start."
The complete Charlotte Observer article is here