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Monday, September 21, 2015

Death is God's way of telling you to slow down...

But a new technical break- 
through has given you a way to beat the odds, sort of. Holograms rock... and so do the dead.

Michael Jackson has made more money being dead than most of us will ever see in our lifetimes... unless you are Donald Trump. And that number will grow dramatically thanks to the sold-out dead concerts soon, several lawsuits notwithstanding.

Since Michael died on June 25, 2009, he has made more than $2 Billion... and those who know estimate that before he is extra-dead, he could top out at $60 Billion or more, including MICHAEL JACKSON LIVE DEAD in concert! Bill Gates eat your heart out.

Side Note: Oh, sorry Bill, you are THE great example-- still alive and you keep on giving back. According to Melinda Gates who manages the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, $33.5 billion has already been spent  and has saved millions of lives. Even better, most of the remaining Gates' billions will be added at their deaths to save many millions more. Imagine leaving a charitable bequest that could top $100 billion. Thank you so much for all you do with your fortune.)

So how would you like to see Liberace in concert this next weekend? (Don't answer.) Well, you can, sort of. You could also see Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Whitney Houston, Marilyn Monroe and others who are just semi-dead... a mere technicality.

Dead celebrities have been revived in commercials for years, usually using archived footing. Fred Astaire danced with a Dirt Devil in 1997. Remember Michael Jackson at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards? (Truly amazing.) New technology now can bring them back even more unbelievably in three dimensions for new performances before live audiences.

One trick is fusing a computer-generated animation of the dead celebrity's head onto a body double. Are you listening Ted Williams? Those most usable deceased would be those who left lots of archived footage. Bing Crosby is the poster boy here... he pitched everything from Chesterfield cigarettes to Kraft cheese. Here's to your health, Bing. Oh, never mind.

There is even talk of a second life for Andy Warhol who died in 1987 and maybe even Lassie (though there were five Lassies... and all of them female impersonators and they all looked exactly alike.) The important thing though, is Timmy was rescued from the well.

Do I see Sara Palin and fam?. Not so fast, Sara,

One of the most impressive "live" performances can be seen at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. Having been to 10 presidential libraries, this is a 'must see' for a lot of reasons. Just be wary, what you see may not be what you think you see.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Just back from a cruise...

RMS Titanic

 And no, this wasn't our ship... and Leonardo and Kate were not on board.

But, we did see the graves of 150 Titanic victims in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Seems that was the closest port to the disaster and those buried there were the initially unclaimed. Subsequently, most have been identified but mysteries remain.

The graves are laid out in the cemetery in the shape of a ship on its side and all markers bear the same date of death, April 15, 2012.

Director of the movie, James Cameron spend considerable time here trying to piece the unknown all together with the facts. You will see the grave marker of J(ack) Dawson, the character played by Leo but since he is a fictitious character in the movie, this person is not him, but that's where the name came from.

The markers showed infant graves and names and mysteries of others as the stories pieced together. It was a profound stop.

This called for another DVD showing of the movie with a little bit more knowledge and enthusiasm to work with.

Of rhe 2,224 passengers and crew on board, more than 1,500 died. Among them, some of the richest... John Jacob Astor, Henry Guggenheim, Macy's owner Isidor Straus and "Unsinkable Molly Brown" ... and some of the least rich including the three stowaways locked in the ship's brig.

MS Maasdam
Our cruise ship, the Holland-American liner Maasdam, considered 'small,' was almost as big as the Titanic and could hold about 1,700 passengers and crew in a pleasant way. We left from Boston to Bar Harbor, then Halifax, Charlottetown, Quebec City and Montreal with a few days at sea.

During the cruise, I tempted fate by reading Erik Larson's story of the sinking of the Lusitania, Dead Wake. I am pleased to report no submarines were sighted... but we did see a whale.

All in all, Nice trip.