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      Some years ago I wrote about the genius of Temujin—Genghis Khan. I want to return to this, but take a different approach. Why was Temujin so successful? “Hired A’s” Yeah, I hate startup culture too. But, the bottom line is that Temujin’s main lieutenants were all brilliant too. Subodei is in the running for one […]
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Cult Classics Open Thread.


Cult Classics are movies that were initially deemed box-office failures but attracted a devoted group of fans. One of the original cult classics was 1936’s Reefer Madness. Like many cult classics it falls in the category of “so bad it’s worth watching.” Ed Wood’s 1959 Plan 9 From Outer Space is probably the ultimate example of that type.

The Big Kahuna of cult classics is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It did poorly when first released in 1975 and was almost headed for oblivion when someone got the bright idea to run it at “midnight movie” screenings. With a few months fans began showing up dressed as their favorite characters and talking back to the screen. They also threw rice at the wedding scene.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show still plays in a small number of theaters, making it the longest running theatrical release in movie history at 34 years and counting. Produced for $1,200,000 it has grossed nearly $140,000,000 in box office receipts.

Prior to the video revolution fans of cult classics were at the mercy of the film studios and television programmers. Once VCR’s and later DVD’s became commonplace, many films that bombed in the theaters were resurrected in the home video market.

As I said before, some movies become cult classics because they are egregiously bad. Others are actually pretty good movies that just didn’t catch fire in their theatrical releases. One common factor in most cult classics is that the studios that originally released them didn’t spend very much promoting them. That’s not surprising, since most of them were low-budget productions in the first place.

Here’s a clip from my favorite cult classic:
.


What’s your favorite?

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Nature’s Canvas: Breathtaking Autumn Colors in the Pine Creek Gorge

Pine Creek Gorge 1 10-24-09

Splashes of bright yellows, reds, orange, and green make Fall foliage in Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon a sight to behold

My husband and I decided to celebrate our anniversary with a relaxing getaway to Tioga County, PA.  We hadn’t visited this beautiful area for almost 2 decades and thought that it would be the perfect time of year to enjoy the breathtaking canvass of colors that Pine Creek Gorge in the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon is famous for.  We selected a lovely little Bed & Breakfast in this quaint little town, hoping to find some tranquility to accompany our autumn views. (By the way, what is it with people who wear their pajamas and fuzzy slippers to breakfast at a B&B? … but I digress.)

The Gorge did not disappoint.  So, while my husband naps I thought I’d share some photos of our morning at the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

A lovely place for a picnic in Leonard Harrison State Park

A lovely place for a picnic in Leonard Harrison State Park

We approached the canyon via Leonard Harrison State Park.  Almost 20 years ago we sat here at one of these picnic tables with our daughter.  There is something about the sight of fallen leaves that calms me.

Bright Foliage amid the fog in Pine Creek Gorge

Bright Foliage amid the fog in Pine Creek Gorge

When we first arrived, a morning fog wafted through the canyon making for an interesting view.  Despite the prior weekend’s snow, and a report of full foliage on October 13th, the canyon remained striking in its hues.

Morning fog in Pine Creek Gorge

Morning fog in Pine Creek Gorge

The fog continued throughout the morning but began to lift around 11:00am when we reached the valley side look-out area.

Pine Creek Gorge Valley

Pine Creek Gorge Valley

Even though the weather report called for rain all day, we found ourselves amid all of this beauty as the rain abated and the sun peeked through.  It was a glorious morning in the canyon.

Even the hiking path was lined with spectacular and abundant color.

Even the hiking path was lined with spectacular and abundant color.

I hope your weekend is also enjoyable and relaxing.  And now I think I’ll join my hubby in that nap.

Happy Fall Y’all!

Open Thread: Obama in Cambridge

President Obama was in town yesterday, and I didn’t even know he was coming. I didn’t see anything about it when I was writing my news post yesterday, so I was surprised when one of my students told me about it. Obama was at MIT to visit labs that are working on green energy.

In a visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s energy labs, Mr. Obama said the nation that wins the global competition for scientific and engineering breakthroughs will lead the global economy.

“I want America to be that nation. It’s as simple as that,” Mr. Obama said to loud applause inside MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, where about 800 people, including some of the region’s top energy scientists and engineers, listened.

Before his address, Mr. Obama toured a research lab at MIT to see ongoing experiments on solar, battery, wind and LED lighting that included an experimental rooftop solar collector that concentrates sunlight on solar electric cells to increase their output.The president pointed to $80 billion in clean energy grants and investments distributed as part of the federal economic recovery program as helping fuel what he said will be a transformation to cleaner energy. That shift will increase national security, create jobs and combat global warming, he said.

I guess it pays to have a governor who is pals with the President, even if we here in Massachusetts aren’t that thrilled with him (Gov. Deval Patrick). Obama announced that the feds are building a new facility in Charlestown that will design and test new wind turbines to be used all over the U.S. It sounds like that could mean jobs. If Obama really creates green energy jobs, I’ll be the first to applaud his efforts. Although I’m wary of his promises, I’d like to believe that he really means to do this.

You can watch part of Obama’s MIT speech here.

WBUR public radio interviewed MIT students about the visit. They weren’t all that enthused about what Obama’s performance on energy so far.

After his whirlwind trip to the Boston area, Obama moved on to Connecticut to help embattled Senator Chris Dodd. You can watch video of that here.

This is an open thread.

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