Sunday, March 1, 2015

Gone Boy

This writer has been a “Gone Boy” of late, escaping from a few of his daily tasks. Rink Rats has suffered from this but we are back and trying to get caught up.

This walkabout from my daily routine is a rare thing but well deserved. I have found that every few months or so, depending on the amount of mendacity in ones’ life this escape is a necessity. The endless meetings, questions, demands, explanations, can take their toll. Not too say my life resembles POTUS or even POTULV, but enough is enough.

What does one do as a “Gone Boy” well not like ‘Gone Girl” I do not kill or lie, but get caught up on a favorite “escape” show, i.e. House of Cards or Mad Men. Another is writing some notes (letters), nothing better than writing some notes instead of emails or text messages. I find writing notes personal and soul searching. I try to write; yes I do mean WRITE, at least one or two handwritten notes a week, of late not so.

Too much Facebook, Twitter, iPhone, Instagram, capital fundraising, and faculty meetings can cause one to be a “Gone Boy”.

OSCAR WRAP: BIRDMAN SOARS - Birdman' soared at the 87th Academy Awards ... winning best film as well as directing honors for Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The dark comedy, starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up movie superhero who seeks redemption on the Broadway stage, won four Oscars, including original screenplay and cinematography. Heading into Sunday's ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, 'Birdman' was pitted against 'Boyhood,' Richard Linklater's unique coming-of-age story shot over a 12-year period. But 'Boyhood' managed to win only one Academy Award: Patricia Arquette for supporting actress as a beleaguered single mom.

Julianne Moore won lead actress for playing a professor with early Alzheimer's in "Still Alice," while Eddie Redmayne won lead actor for portraying theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and his struggle with ALS in 'The Theory of Everything.' J.K. Simmons won supporting actor for his ruthless music teacher in 'Whiplashrights, and .' ... The star-studded ceremony at times turned political, with equal pay and the struggle for justice - especially for minorities and immigrants - taking center stage.


Oscar ratings fall to six-year low, Sunday's awards averaged 36.6 million viewers and a 10.8 rating among adults 18-49 across its three-hour-plus telecast. That's a 16 percent drop from last year's ceremony ... and marks a six-year low for the show.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - Just 59 percent of black males in the U.S. are graduating high school. That compares to 65 percent of Latino males and 80 percent of white males, according to a report out today from the Schott Foundation. Black males had the lowest graduation rates in 35 out of 48 states where data was collected, plus D.C. In some states, the gap between black and white males is more than 25 percentage points, with the biggest gaps found in the Midwest.

The 25 richest colleges by endowment dollars per undergraduate. The Chronicle of Higher Education:

The Senate HELP Committee meet this past week to talk about federal regulations on higher education. Lawmakers will hear from more than a dozen college presidents and CEOs who were charged with reviewing federal regulations and reporting requirements for 6,000 institutions in the U.S. Their report released earlier this month in partnership with the American Council on Education, acknowledged that some regulation is necessary to ensure institutional accountability. "But requirements that have an excessive reach, or that are unnecessarily costly and difficult to implement - or worse still, that hinder student access to college and drive costs up - are counterproductive," they said. Their areas of concern include institutional accreditation, uniform definitions of Clery crimes and verification of student eligibility for financial aid, among other issues.

- "America's 6,000 colleges and universities live in a 'jungle of red tape' that is expensive and confusing and unnecessary," Chairman Lamar Alexander will say, quoting the report. "The report makes clear that colleges and taxpayers expect appropriate regulation. But neither taxpayers nor colleges are well-served by the jungle that exists today.‎"

BILLION DOLLAR STARTUP CLUB - companies valued at $1 billion or more by venture-capital firms: Meet the Hottest Tech Startups -- Awash in venture capital, 48 new companies join WSJ's Billion Dollar Club; eight are now worth [at least] $10 billion: The number of companies priced at $10 billion or more doubled in the past year to eight, and two of them-smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. ($46 billion) and ... Uber Technologies Inc. ($41.2 billion)-are now worth far more than better-known public companies such as Sony Corp. and Hertz.

--THE LIST: 1) Xiaomi ... 2) Uber ... 3) Palantir ... 4) SpaceX ... 5) Flipkart ... 6) Airbnb ... 7) Dropbox ... 8) Snapchat ... 9) Theranos ... 10) Meituan ... 11) Square ... 12) Pinterest ... 13) WeWork ... 14) Cloudera ... 15) Spotify

50 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK - On Feb. 21, 1965, ... Malcolm X, 39, was shot to death inside Harlem's Audubon Ballroom ... by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam. (Three men - Talmadge X. Hayer, Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson - were convicted of murder and imprisoned; all three were eventually paroled.)

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Mario Andretti (75), Drew Barrymore (40), Harry Belafonte (88), Barry Bostwick (70), Robert Conrad (80), Roger Daltrey (71), Julius Erving (65), Kelsey Grammar (60), Ron Howard (61), Rep. John Lewis (75).

JACK ASS OF THE MONTH - Rudy Giuliani went straight for the jugular last week during a private group dinner here featuring Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by openly questioning whether President Barack Obama “loves America.”

The former New York mayor, speaking in front of the 2016 Republican presidential contender and about 60 right-leaning business executives and conservative media types, directly challenged Obama’s patriotism, discussing what he called weak foreign policy decisions and questionable public remarks when confronting terrorists.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said during the dinner at the 21 Club, a former Prohibition-era speakeasy in midtown Manhattan. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.

For these comments it is a no-brainer this month, congratulations to Rudy Giuliani our Jack Ass of the Month.

Next week: Where have you gone Tim Russert?

Until Next Monday, Adios

Claremont, CA

February 28, 2015

CARTOON OF THE WEEK –  Charles M. Schulz

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