Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

“Steve Jobs” a rip-roaring, crackling good time at the movies. Another disgraceful police brutality incident at a school in S.C. And GOP Debate III, the insanity continues!

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(That World Series game last night, oh my God how fantastic was that! Too exhausted to write about it after it ended, but wow was that great.)

Sometimes, it’s like movies are made exactly for me.

Aaron Sorkin, my favorite Hollywood writer, pens a flick about Steve Jobs, one of the craziest and most brilliant thinkers of the 20th century? And it stars Kate Winslet, Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels?

Yeah, there was a 99 percent chance I was going to love this picture. The wife and I saw “Steve Jobs” Saturday night, and it was spectacular.

Honestly, I had so much fun at this film, and not just because it was a rare date night without the little guy for us.
Sorkin’s script was so sharp and funny and witty, it was like he’d totally forgotten how badly he’d screwed up “The Newsroom” and was channeling the best of his “The West Wing” writing.
The acting, led by Fassbender’s brilliant, frenetic turn as Jobs, was uniformly terrific, with Rogen surprising the hell out of me with the depth of his performance as Steve Wozniak, Jobs’ co-creator of Apple who got shunned to the side as Jobs’ star rose.

The movie shows Jobs as a complicated, often cruel, often whimsical guy, who had a knack for knowing what the customer wanted most times, but stubbornly refusing to yield to basic common consumer sense at others.

I came away from the movie not feeling sympathy for Jobs, but rather, being amazed he was able to accomplish what he did, with so many crippling flaws.

It’s a truly fantastic movie, with great insights into a man few understood. Go see it.

**Next up, you may have seen this video Tuesday, yet another despicable act by a law enforcement officer. This one thankfully didn’t result in a murder, but is distasteful for other reasons. Monday at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C., a female student was assaulted and manhandled by Richland County sheriff’s deputy Ben Fields, one of the two officers who works at the school.

The girl was allegedly not obeying the teacher’s orders, and was asked to leave. Fields then ordered the girl to get up, before he yanked her wrist, wraped his arm around her neck, and FLIPS her (and her desk) onto the ground. Fields then drags her out of the overturned desk, throws her across the room, and jumps on top of her while instructing her to put her hands behind her back. At no point does the girl appear to put up a physical fight.

To say this was an incredible overreaction and a wanton abuse of power is an understatement. Incredibly, I saw some people on Facebook defending Mr. Fields Tuesday.

As my friend and e-migo, Dr. Rebecca M. said to me as we discussed this: “People are arguing that security needed to be called for a student not participating, so that learning could happen. If you think learning is going to happen after students witnessed THAT, congrats you have passed the sociopath test.”

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**Finally today, great night for obssessive channel-switchers like me: We’ve got World Series Game 2 (last night was a hell of a game in what ought to be a fabulous Series, I’m picking Royals in 7) and we’ve got Episode 3 of the long-running series “Which 2016 Republican presidential candidate can say the most crazy shit and still get the nomination?”

Yes friends, we’ve got the third GOP debate tonight on CNBC at 8 p.m, starring new front-runner Dr. Ben Carson, who likes to use Nazi Germany references when talking about U.S. legislation; The Man Called Trump, as the great Charlie Pierce calls him, Marco Rubio, who is the only candidate who actually scares me in a general, but can’t seem to get any traction; and W.’s brother, who is running the worst campaign this side of Lincoln Chafee.

One of these days I’ve got to live-blog or live-Tweet these GOP debates, because they’re so batshit crazy, filled with so many far-right ideas and racist, homophobic and xenophobic comments that my head spins.

Couple things to look for tonight: This is the first debate since Carson has surged into the lead, so look for Trump and others to attack him; also, look for Rubio and Bush to really take on Trump some more, now that there’s finally been some denting in his armor.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Kasich continue his theme of “sanity,” in a desperate appeal to seem different from the rest. This debate is supposed to focus on the economy, I’ve read, so with the U.S. economy humming along and the Affordable Care Act a big success in every way, can’t wait to see how they blame Obama.

Get your popcorn, this one ought to be a whole lotta fun.

The match of the year in tennis arrives at French Open today. The Onion fools another official, hilariously. Woman throws out old computer worth $200,000

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It’s rare that you say  “finally, the match I’ve been waiting for all year is here!” on the Wednesday of the second week of a tennis Grand Slam tournament.

But that’s what we’re saying today, as Rafael Nadal plays Novak Djokovic in the match of the year.

The French Open is in the homestretch, and of course I’ve been following it closely as all tennis diehards have been.

Every year there are upsets at Roland Garros (I am sad about Federer losing on Tuesday) , hand-wringing over the lack of U.S. men’s success (though rising star Jack Sock had a fantastic tournament, getting to the fourth round and even taking a set off Rafa on Monday), and generally, we’re left with a lefty from Mallorca, Spain named Nadal holding the trophy aloft while taking a bite out of it for photos.

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But 2015 has been a strange year. Nadal has lost plenty of times already, including on clay, which is home to him. Djokovic has soared while Nadal has dipped, as the Serb has dominated practically every tournament he’s played, coming into the French as the unquestioned No. 1 player.

The only thing Djokovic hasn’t won in his brilliant career is the French Open, because Nadal has always blocked him.

A couple of months ago you figured they’d meet in the French Open final this year as they have several times before. But then Rafa started losing and suddenly he was seeded a preposterous No. 6 before the tournament, befitting his current ranking but a little ridiculous considering he’s won Roland Garros nine times! (Cue Mr. Rooney from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” please. Nine times.)

And so because Nadal’s ranking has fallen so low, he stood a chance of being drawn into the same quarter of the French Open draw as Djokovic. He was, and now they’re playing in the quarterfinals today, which seems crazy considering this is really the final.

The two best players in the sport, going head-to-head, with legacies on the line? Should be epic. I can’t wait. Give me Djokovic in five sets, but I wouldn’t put money on it.

**Next up, I love stories like this: A couple of weeks ago in California a recent widow dropped off a bunch of boxes that she’d cleaned out from her house after her husband died. She figured it was a bunch of his old electronics junk and wanted to get rid of it, so she brought it to a recycling company.

Two weeks later the company, Clean Bay Area, went through the boxes and found a vintage Apple I computer. There are only 200 or so left in the world of these babies, the first-generation of computers put together by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne in 1976.

According to this story, the recycling firm sold the Apple I this month for $200,000 to a private collection, Vice President Victor Gichun said. And now, because company policy is to split proceeds 50-50 with the donor, he’s looking for the mystery woman who refused to get a receipt or leave her name.

So there’s a woman walking around Northern California, entitled to a $100,000 windfall and she doesn’t even know it.

Hopefully the publicity being generated will reach the woman.
And now every single man in America who loves garage sales on Saturday mornings can say to their wives, “See! This is why I go to these things, I could find something that’d make us rich!”

**Finally today, there was huge soccer news on Tuesday when FIFA president Sepp Blatter, maybe the most corrupt person in sports (and that’s saying something), finally saw the writing on the wall and resigned, creating an opportunity to have a less-awful organization running soccer in the future.

But you can read about that plenty of other places, I want to talk about something more fun. Like once again The Onion getting mistaken for a real newspaper.

An ex-FIFA crook, Jack Warner, went on a rant against the U.S. Justice Dept., and America in general the other day, saying that all the recent charges against FIFA were trumped-up, not legit, etc.

And what did he use in his defense of this argument? A headline from The Onion. Yep, he uses a fake article from the wonderful satirical newspaper that contains this paragraph:

AT PRESS TIME, THE U.S. NATIONAL TEAM WAS LEADING DEFENDING CHAMPIONS GERMANY IN THE WORLD CUP’S OPENING MATCH AFTER BEING AWARDED 12 PENALTIES IN THE GAME’S FIRST THREE MINUTES

Too funny.

Dodgers owner sinks to a new low, which is hard for him. A beautiful eulogy on Steve Jobs. And making the iPhone voice get stoned

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One of my favorite quotes from “Seinfeld” is one that I don’t think is as famous as “Mulva!” or “master of your domain.”
It’s something Elaine once said to Jerry: “You know, every time I think you’re the shallowest man I’ve ever met, you somehow manage to drain a little more water out of the pool.”

That’s kinda how I feel about Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. Every time I think the man can’t slink any lower as a human being, he dips down under the limbo stick and goes just a tad lower. McCourt, who has ruined the Dodgers, alienated all other baseball owners, fans and his own players, a man who stole money from his own team to fund his and his ex-wife’s lavish lifestyle, only to basically go bankrupt, has hit a new low this week.

You may remember the name Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was savagely beaten, nearly to death, by two fans outside Dodgers Stadium last March, and has spent the past six months in a coma and recently in rehab.

Well, McCourt and his lawyers, in anticipation of a civil lawsuit, are saying that Stow may have been to blame for his beating.

Yep, that’s correct: A man who was nearly murdered by two other fans, and who was clinging to life for months, is partially responsible for putting himself in that position.
This is the quote from McCourt’s lawyer: “I have never seen one yet which it didn’t take at least two people to tango,” Jerome Jackson said. He also said that since Stow had a 0.176 blood alcohol level, that will be brought up at trial.

Ah, Frank McCourt. You take scumbaggery to a whole new level. Congrats.

**If you haven’t seen this yet, I highly recommend it. Steve Jobs’ sister, Mona Simpson, who he only met later in life, wrote this beautiful eulogy to her brother. It was printed in the New York Times Sunday, two weeks after the funeral, and I highly, highly recommend it. It’s beautifully written, tinged with heart and sadness, and is everything a good eulogy should be.

**Finally, this cracked me up. You may have heard about the new supercool iPhone 4 that has a talking voice named Siri inside of it. Well, here’s a guy who decides to see how Siri would respond if, um, stoned. It gets good about 30 seconds in:

Steve Jobs finally walks into the sunset after changing the world. A school district uses sheep as lawnmowers. And a fun day at U.S. Open qualifying

Usually, when a CEO leaves a company, the tributes to him or her are overblown.
No one person is that much bigger than the product or business, 99 times out of 100. Most anyone else below the big chief can do that job.
And yet, with the news that Steve Jobs is stepping down, it definitely seems like the hype is about accurate.
This guy changed the world. His brilliant innovations with Apple are too numerous to be named here; there’s probably no area of technology that Jobs and Apple haven’t had a hand in. (if you’re reading this on an iPhone, I rest my case).
Jobs has been sick for a while, so Wednesday’s news isn’t a huge surprise, I guess.
But it still feels like the end of an era. What a remarkable career he’s had; people forget that he was thought to be all washed up when he left Apple. Check out this interview from 1994, and see how prescient this man was.

**You think your school district has funding problems? Please. You haven’t seen the trouble facing Carlisle, Pa. How desperate are these folks? They’re not using lawnmowers anymore to cut the grass at two local schools. They’re using sheep.
That’s right, sheep. Seven of ’em, on loan from the principal of the middle school. (Why does the principal own seven sheep? I’m guessing that’s a whole ‘nother story).
Embarrassing that a school district would have to do this. But hey, also educational for the kids? Who needs a field trip to the animal farm when you’ve got Dolly and Co. right outside the classroom window?


**How often in life do you get to stand five feet away from professional athletes, as they play some of the biggest matches of their career?
Not often. Which is why I did something I’ve always wanted to do this week: Go to the qualifying tournament at the U.S. Open.
For those not familiar with the “qualies” it works like this: If you’re a pro tennis player ranked in the top 100 or so, you automatically get into the U.S. Open. If you’re not, you have to play your way in through what’s called a qualifying tournament. For several days you try to beat other men and women desperate to make it into the main draw.
Every year before the Open they open the National Tennis Center in Queens, N.Y. and let fans watch the qualies for free. I went this year and it was fantastic. You can literally get five feet from these men and women while they’re playing; you can’t do that with any other sport.
Sure, there were no huge famous names like Roger Federer or Serena Williams playing, but these were true pros fighting their guts out, and in many cases the money they were trying to win would determine whether they could keep playing as a pro next year.
It was great fun. And yeah, there may be some more U.S. Open posts from me next week; I’m going at least twice, and hoping for more. In the immortal words of Bart Scott, I can’t wait.