11.28.2006: Dave Cockrum, 63, passed away.

Dave Cockrum, 63, passed away after a long illness on Nov. 26th. As an artist growing up, he was one of my many inspirations that I look up to. His engaging artistic style, motion, realistic and dramatic expressions on the comic books he drew on electrified me when I was growing up reading all sorts of comic books, his stuff really stood out for me. An Internet poster close to the Cockrum family posted this release:

With a heavy heart, I regret to inform you that Dave Cockrum passed away this morning. After a long battle with diabetics and its varied complications, Dave died in his sleep early this morning.

Dave’s many creations—including some of the X-Men’s staple characters—brought tremendous joy to his legion of fans. For three decades, he was a beloved fixture at comics conventions across the country where he would sketch for a pittance and encourage would-be creators. Those of us who knew Dave personally will remember him as one of the sweetest, jovial, most generous individuals in the comics industry. I’ll miss my friend very much.

There are no details of services at this time. Dave asked to be cremated, and his widow Paty is burdened with the news, so well-wishers are asked not to call.

Dave Cockrum was an American comic book artist who, alongside with Len Wein, then Chris Claremont (both comic book writers), truly redesigned and redefined the characters of the Uncanny X-Men in 1975. This is what Dave, along with the late Gil Kane, did with the most famous introduction to the world of these characters: Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Thunderbird, with Cyclop as leader. A copy of Giant Size X-Men #1 comic book, in mint condition, recently sells for $3060 on eBay.com.

The last three X-Men movies we saw on the big screen are truly the reflections of Dave Cockrum’s artistic inspirations of those internationally-casted characters. Before 1975, the Uncanny X-Men were a team of five young American mutants: Cyclop, Jean Grey, the Beast, the Angel and Iceman. In 1975, Dave Cockrum and Len Wein gave the world an international team of young mutants: Storm (Africa), Wolverine (Canada), Nightcrawler (Germany), Colossus (Russia), Banshee (Ireland), Sunfire (Japan) and Thunderbird (Native America), truly the first global cast that became the inspiration for many others to come from the comic book, TV, fiction book and film mediums.

It has been said that it was Dave Cockrum’s stint with a D.C. comic book, the Legion of Super Heroes that gave him the inspiration to create a global team of mutant heroes in the Uncanny X-Men. Although, the Legion of Super Heroes actually composed of super-powered beings, including Superboy, from many different worlds in the Milky Way Galaxy to fight for justice and peace in the 30th century futuristic Earth.

I had a good opportunity to meet Dave Cockrum in person last year at the Mid-Ohio Con, at long last. He was really that jovial, friendly and eager to show off his artworks, in spite of his declining health. So many people came to see him to pay their respects and admiration for this man.

R.I.P.

UPDATE – 11.30.2006: CNN report: X-Men illustrator dies in Superman pajamas

Neil Gaiman on Dave Cockrum

The Art of Dave Cockrum

11.24.2006: Casino Royale – Rob’s review * 4 stars *

Last night, I went to see “Casino Royale” with my brother’s family and sis-in-law’s sister and her family who came up from Atlanta, GA to visit for Thanksgiving. Let me say this about that movie: it is, by far, one of the very best James Bond movies in a long time! Daniel Craig, the newest actor to play the British super agent, had performed superbly as a very capable, brutal and roguish-looking James Bond.

Daniel Craig as James Bond is like a beat-up Scotch guy coming out of a brawl in a pub and still wanted to go back to order a vodka martini – neither shaken nor stirred – drink it with a suave and cocksure demeanor, next to a gorgeous woman in an evening gown, never mind the cuts and bruises on him and looking out for the bad guys who still have a score with him to settle.

Although it wasn’t captioned when I saw it last night but I was able to understand the visual cues and actions between talkative scenes. I still plan to see it again when an open captioned version of Casino Royale come to Crosswoods maybe next month.

Casino Royale the movie is based on the very first book – same title – of Ian Fleming’s 007 series. The producers and the director (Martin Campbell – a very good Bond director) were right to go back to James Bond’s beginning and early roots, though modernized for today’s audience. The best parts of the movie? No fancy gadgets from “Q”. No cartoonish thugs. No gorgeous women with comically sexy names. Not much comedy in action but with well-timed humor in dialogue scenes.

Action scenes are excellent and thrilling, some talkative scenes seem long-winded but to a point. The main villains are not all like others from the past Bond movies: just ruthless, calculating men with money and plans for selfish, murderous gains. Only James Bond can stop them, yet about 40 minutes toward the end, there seem to be a surprise with one villain in which James Bond was unable to stop himself – a true departure from past Bond movies.

The Bond girls in Casino Royale – played by the beautiful French actress Eva Green and the stunning Italian actress Caterina Murino – well, I can only say this immortal word from Wayne of Wayne’s World for both lovely babes: “Schwing!!”

I give “Casino Royale” a four stars out of five stars. One of the best Bond movies in years.

Of all the Bond movies, only “From Russia With Love”, “Goldfinger”, “The Spy Who Loved Me”, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and “Goldeneye” are my personal favorites and are considered the very best to the best Bond movies.

Of all the actors who played James Bond, only Sean Connery rules as the James Bond, 007. Perhaps Daniel Craig, if he keeps up with the few more Bond movies as very good as his first one, he could dethrone the other Bond actors easily. But that’s all depending on just how good the scripts and the directors are with future Bond movies. Here’s my personal ratings on Bond actors below, 5 to 1 stars (very good to okay/dud based on performance, charm, action, humor):

Sean Connery 5 stars
Pierce Brosnan 4 stars
George Lazenby 3 stars
Roger Moore 3 stars
Timothy Dalton 1 star

new: Daniel Craig 4 stars He did a great job delivering the most famous line at the end of the movie. Trust me, it is really worthy to clap your hands and cheering at the end. Smile.

The 22nd Bond movie will be coming in 2008. Look forward to it.

And remember….

“The name’s Bond…. James Bond.”

11.23.2006: Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

11.22.2006: The Secret Revealed!

At last, please take the time to read and enjoy The Secret of Washington, D.C., compiled and written by Michael Dialessi.

When I was a Gallaudet student in the early 1990s, I loved exploring certain parts of Washington, D.C. because of its unusual and very esoteric layout which was designed and engineered more than 200 years ago for the most discreet reasons only for those who know and understood it. It’s a deeply heavy Masonic symbol in itself – in the heart of Washington, D.C. It isn’t really all that sinister in such manners, rather its hidden purpose is naturally universal, its origins harken back to more than 4000 years ago. Remember the movie, “National Treasure” in 2005? That film just only scratched the surface on deep, esoteric origins regarding the Declaration of Independence, the Freemasons and the Knights Templar, even though the movie is entirely fictional and entertaining. Frankly, it is enough to stoke the most curious minds to imagine the possibilities and investigate these matters in order to discern what is real and what is made up.

For all its intents and purposes, the Secret of Washington, D.C. website is your own journey to prepare your own future, once you got down to the bottom of it, regarding the author’s assertions about the true nature and designs of Washington, D.C.’s esoteric layout and the people behind the corridors of power, in addition to the very future of the United States and the entire planet.

I have one thing to share with you. See the photo below?

It is the statue of Albert Pike located in Washington, D.C. He was the most famous, highly-regarded Freemason in the 19th century American history. A lawyer and former Confederate officer who fought against the Union and was supposedly a founding member of the KKK. Yes, you read all that right. His statue, of which I visited in October of 2004, is not really that far from the Union Station and the Capitol Hill, just a short walk. It is brimmed with esoteric meanings and symbols, so amazingly well-hidden in public view! His role, as the most powerful Freemason of his time, was very significant in inspiring, shaping and influencing the future leaders and directions of the country. Men and women of wealth, fame or power from all over the world sought out for his advices, lectures and books, even Bismarck of Prussia (a Freemason himself) frequently corresponded with Pike during Bismarck’s rise to power in the first German Reich.

If you live in or near Washington, D.C., try to find that statue yourself. DO NOT try to Google it! It is all fun and worthy to do a little National Treasure-like hunting yourself by walking around 3rd St and Pennsylvania Ave NW. I give you a little hint: Launch Google Earth if you have the program. Look for that little star of Washington, D.C. and use the program’s ruler to measure the distance from that star to the whereabout of Pike’s statue. It should be measured at exactly 0.33 mile in distance. Good luck hunting!

Oh, should I mention the pentagram layout near the White House and the shining rays of the Sun just further east of Capitol Hill? Uh-uh. See for yourself.

Heh.

Edited for few typos, corrections and adjustments. I ain’t a great writer or editor but I try my best with blogging, so please bear with me.

11.21.2006: Abrupt Climate Change

Abrupt Climate Change is something I’d read about briefly few years back until I was able to obtain a Global Business Network report published in PDF, written by Peter Schwartz and Douglas Randall, of which the Pentagon have endorsed in October 2003, with a certain degree of acceptable plausibility on these well-researched scenarios laid out in the report.

Although, the report on abrupt climate change is not actually a scientific endorsement of human-induced global warming that the environmentalists and save-the-planet alarmists have been warning about, rather it only provided the Pentagon the implications and scenarios of a global-wide abrupt climate change that would challenge the national security of the United States and other regions in the long run, of which Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Randall have declared:

The purpose of this report is to imagine the unthinkable—to push the boundaries of current research on climate change so we may better understand the potential implications on United States national security.

That’s to say a potential global-wide abrupt climate change is likely to happen over the time in the 21st century. It all depends on what’s happening now, with the world being affected by rising temperatures, violent storms, increased flooding, solar flare-ups, and so on. These uncertain and terrifying climatic conditions, whether it’s human-induced, natural or solar, are sure signs of a pending abrupt climate change, likely involving greater and draconian political, social and economic measures that would affect every nation-state, everyone and every creature on Earth. The report only outlined the likely scenarios so to place the United States one or two steps ahead with emergency readiness/response and preparation planning on such pending, even unthinkable, events. That’s not to suggest the United States government didn’t do any better over the disaster in New Orleans after the hurricane Katrina in 2005.

An abrupt climate change worldwide is likely a gradual event, spread over the next 2 to 4 decades (or until 2050), rather than a singular or sudden event (unlike the dramatic but fictional movie, “The Day After Tomorrow”). The impacts would be very fundamental, disruptive and despairing and failures are sure to guarantee difficult repercussions upon the human race, resulting in draconian and military measures to ensure survival of the human race at all costs. There’s no point in debating the dangers of human-induced global warming or a massive solar warming from the Sun now. Like I said yesterday in “It’s the Sun, stupid!” blog, all we can do is to adapt, innovate, improvise and deal with it.

I created a graphic flowchart sheet (click on the thumbnail graphic below) on Abrupt Climate Change over the past summer to provide, for me and for others as well, a visual perception of what it would look like between now and 2050 based on what the report outlined. I added few of my own ideas to reinforce a possible outcome as result of an abrupt climate change. See for yourself:

Think the future would be optimistic enough for you? Perhaps. Nevertheless, the future is grim.

Now we’re getting closer to the Secret about 2007 by tomorrow! It’s all about a certain, powerful city with a lot of secrets of its own! I’ve discovered it not too long ago and it has pretty much confirmed what I’ve already know for years. The yesterday’s blog and today’s blog are very relevant to the Secret of 2007 for tomorrow. Be prepared to be enlightened!

11.20.2006: It’s the Sun, stupid!

To paraphrase a political quote from the early 1990s: “It’s the Sun, stupid!”

I am a global warming skeptic, I admit. I’m not ashamed of being a huge skeptic of human-induced global warming which I believed to be nothing more than just an inconvenient fear-mongering hoax designated to blame the reckless human race – or more squarely upon the “reckless” people of the United States of America – for the sudden rise of greenhouse temperatures upon the planet as result of massive pollution, environmental problems, and so-called greedy competition and consumption of resources. The recent, most talk-about film last spring, “An Inconvenient Truth”, widely supported and promoted by Al Gore (who also “conveniently” distanced himself from the film after critics panned it and resulted in lackluster box office revenues), have shown disproportionately one-sided views and warnings about global warming across the planet, brimmed with political overtones and slams on the United States being the world’s largest polluter and no. 1 cause of global warming – a fact completely overblown and out of line.

Even the film highlighted the criticism against the Bush administration for rejecting the Kyoto Treaty of which I strongly supported President Bush’s decision to reject the treaty outright. The treaty would have been a huge economic disaster for the world’s most powerful and richest country – if the treaty would have been ratified and enforced – even President Bill Clinton had serious second thoughts about the Kyoto Treaty and refuse to sign the treaty prior to his leaving the White House, which prompted an angry head-on confrontation with his then-Vice President Al Gore! The Kyoto Treaty would have punish the world’s wealthiest economies with too-strict impositions and regulations on environmental usage, consumption and pollution but would spare three of the world’s most populous (and supposedly “poor”) nations of any environmental imposition and regulation in the long run: China, India and Indonesia. The treaty was politically and economically slanted to those countries’ favors, as it turned out (hence the reason why President Clinton and later President Bush decided to reject the treaty).

Human-induced global warming is really an inconvenient hoax. So why did I paraphrased, “It’s the Sun, stupid!”?

From 2004: The truth about global warming – it’s the Sun that’s to blame

“The Sun is in a changed state. It is brighter than it was a few hundred years ago and this brightening started relatively recently – in the last 100 to 150 years.”

The planet Mars is experiencing global warming

Monster storm is a sign of global warming on JUPITER!

Neptune’s largest moon, Triton, is experiencing global warming!

Pluto, too!

According to most astronomers and scientists, virtually all the planets and its satellites in the Solar System are experiencing global warming in more or less fashion as result of the Sun getting hotter than ever, creating the effects of a solar warming across the system.

Global warming is a natural phenomenon that occurred on Earth for several millions years, even long before the “reckless polluting” human race ever came to being, thanks to the Sun’s frequent solar cycles of warming and cooling. It will still occur on Earth long after the “reckless polluting” human race cease to be. How much of us polluting the planet wouldn’t make a hill of beans out of it as long as the Sun’s greatly attributing to the human race’s ability to survive on production and consumption of resources just to live a life on the planet.

All we can do is to adapt, innovate, improvise and deal with it.

On this Wednesday, November 22nd, I will reveal the Secret about 2007! Keep an eye on my blog. ;-)

NOTE: The photograph of the Sun is by Dan Klein of Dan Klein Photography (SOURCE).

UPDATE! 11.27.2006: The nation’s top hurricane scientists are divided on whether it’s the truth.

It has been the quietest hurricane season for the United States this year, with fewer hurricanes so far.

11.18.2006: Ohio State vs Michigan!!

GO BUCKEYES!

Everyone is gearing up for the big game this late afternoon! It’s going to be insane around and near the Cooper Stadium but FUN and very PACKED!

Let’s have some roasted wolverines to enjoy. Yummm…..

Interesting fact: the very last time the meeting of two teams, both no. 1 and no. 2 with no losses, were University of Michigan vs University of Minnesota in 1904! It’s been 102 years since the two teams from the same conference, with the national ranking of no. 1 and no. 2 with no losses, met on a football field!

Out of respect for a legendary coach: Bo Schembechler passed away yesterday at the age of 77.

UPDATE: Ohio State defeated Michigan, 42-39!

What a hot game!! The two very best teams in the NCAA football played very well against each other!

There may be a strong possibility that Ohio State and Michigan could play against each other for the national championship in the Rose Bowl! Michigan demands a rematch but the BCS people will determine that.

UPDATE (11.19.2006): Ohio State will be heading to Glendale, Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl!

Troy Smith, Ohio State’s most versatile quarterback and a potential Heisman Trophy winner, is the second quarterback in the Ohio State football history to beat Michigan three times in a row. Only William Henry Harrison “Tippy” Dye did it three times in 1934, 1935 and 1936, soundly trounced Michigan in all three games. One Michigan player who went on to become the President of the United States much later in life was none-than-other Gerald Ford, an all-star center who played against Dye’s team.

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