Showing posts with label Hollywood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hollywood. Show all posts

August 15, 2019

Best Chicken Lo Mein (Kosher)

Best Chicken Lo Mein (Kosher too!) that I ever had. 

At China Bistro and Sushi in Hollywood, Florida.

Order the extra chicken for a couple of bucks.

Well worth it!

Steaming hot from the wok. 

And don't forget to make it extra spicy!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 13, 2018

Honey Chicken Delicious

Just wanted to share this amazing honey chicken. 

Yes, I know you can't eat it, but you can imagine what it tastes like.

Had this at L'Chaim Asian Cuisine and Steak House in Hollywood, Florida. 

Absolutely to die for!

That was a lot of honey over the dark crispy chicken. 

It's been a few months and I still haven't been able to get it out of my mind. 

That is quite a recommendation I would say. 

See you there! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 24, 2017

The Long Arm Of The Law


This bird was hilarious running into and out of the ocean waves. 

Over and over again, it's little puttering feet running toward and then just escaping the water rushing to the shore. 

In a way, I thought that I'd like to be as playful and happy as this little bird running and having fun in the water. 

But when I showed the video to my wife, she got a different message from it. 

She said, "you can't outrun the long arm of the law!"

The (jail)bird runs towards trouble, but then running away, the waves of justice invariably catch up with it. 

I think with all the scandals in the news again lately from Hollywood to Washington D.C., we are all sort of stunned by the famous and hugely successful people who are now being caught up in inappropriate sex scandals and all sorts of abuse of women and men!

It's wrong that these people use their wealth, fame, and power to hurt other people, period. 

There are no excuses, no lapses of judgement, especially when it seems to happen over and over again to the same people. 

Put your "package" back in your pants, and behave like upright human beings and not like a bunch of wild animals.

Yes, perhaps it's one thing to be playful like the birds in the ocean waves, but it's another to be part of the list of scumbags--if true as accused--like Anthony Weiner, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Al Franken, John Conyers, and more. 

You can pay off the women with jobs and settlements, but you can't escape the rushing water of ultimate judgement for your unbridled play and tarnished souls. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 29, 2013

Andy Blumenthal With Harry Basil From The Laugh Factory

So Harry Basil was great at The Laugh Factory.

His costumes, impersonations, and audience involvement in his act was well done. 

In the course of about half an hour, Harry spanned the gamut from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Leonardo DiCaprio, Eminem to Michael Jackson, and from Batman to Superman.  

He was very animated and played with the people in the audience--so quick, spontaneous, and always in control. 

This morning, I took this photo with Harry Basil at Starbucks. 

As we started to walk away down the hall, my wife (who is wont not to take the greatest photos) says "Oh, I don't think the picture came out, it was too close."

And as we were going to start bickering, it was so funny...Harry pops up right behind us, and goes "Was it too close--let's take it again."

Another thing that happened that was interesting at The Laugh Factory, was when we were about to be seated, I said sincerely to the host "How are you doing this evening? Happy holidays!"  

He goes to me, "No one ever asks me that. You know what? I'm going to give you seats right up by the front," and he did. 

It was a lesson for all of us about talking and treating people nicely--what goes around, comes around. ;-)
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April 19, 2013

Get Yourself An IT Management Agent

Management agents are not just for Hollywood stars anymore...

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (10 April 2013) says really good freelance application developers are now being represented by IT Management Agents.

One such agent company is called 10X and they represent more than 30 IT stars.

The management agent helps the developers find jobs, negotiate salary and terms, and handle the paperwork letting the IT guys do what they do best--which is code!

10X takes a 15% cut of their client's earnings, but some developers claim 2-3 times the salary they were earning before by using an agent--and rates are climbing to $300 an hour.

Some companies are using these premium talent coders until they can bring on a full hire or when they need some big guns for some special IT project. 

Perhaps with agent in tow (and even without), IT folks will start to shed their outdated nerdy image and instead take on some real Hollywood glamour--for the talent they really do bring to the organizational table. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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January 3, 2013

Taking On The Predator

My colleague at work has an incredible mask of the Predator. 

Quite a frightening looking creature--that in Hollywood only Arnold Schwarzenegger could take on and defeat. 

When Predator, an extraterrestrial, comes to Earth with all sorts of high-tech weaponry to challenge humankind, Schwarzenegger, who leads an elite special forces team, manages to defeat the alien by using his wits to improvise weapons, traps, and tactics. 

In the real world, this mask is a great reminder that while technology is a tool that provides amazing capabilities, in the end, it is really our people's ability to adapt and innovate that makes the ultimate difference as to who succeeds and fails. 

The Predator mask is not only a great conversation piece, but Predator's looks and technology is not so scary when we realize that good, talented people can wield control over it. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Robert Williams)

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June 1, 2012

We're In It Together


This is a cool vision by Tom Clancy of the "future soldier" from the Ghost Recon game series. 

The mixture of advanced weaponry, high-tech reconnaissance and surveillance, drones and robotics, future combat uniforms, and cloaking technology is just super.

If you have time and interest, there is another longer video here with footage that is particularly good starting at about the 3:40 marker. 

Like Star Trek paving the way for real-life advances in technology and space exploration, Clancy's future soldier will be another example of life imitating art.  

When we marry the vision and creativity of our entertainment industry, with the technical skills of our scientists and engineers, and the risk-taking of our entrepreneurs, we can do truly awesome things. 

"No one can do everything, but everyone can do something"--we're in it together! 

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October 29, 2011

PwC Leading Like Idol

What does it take to spark creativity and innovation in the workforce, Hollywood style?

An article in Fortune Magazine this month (October 2011) presents how a top global Assurance, Tax, and Consultancy firm like Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) is reaching out to its people to harness creativity through a new program called PowerPitch.

PwC wants to cultivate a particular atmosphere. "We have an average age of 27, but we have roots in tax and assurance," says U.S. chairman Bob Moritz, using the industry jargon for auditing and related functions. "So how do you make this place feel like a Google or a Facebook? A place that feels leading-edge?"

PwC is spurring innovation using an firm-wide contest format and social media to drive innovation for their $29 billion organization.

An admitted fan of American Idol and The Apprentice, [Mitra] Best was drawn to the idea that contests and games could yield serious business results. Employees love the opportunity.”

The PwC program galvanizes a workforce into idea-generating teams, with proposals that are voted on and selected through an internal social media platform by all employees and others picked by a senior panel of leaders. Then the best ideas get leadership "advisors" who work with the teams to present to a top leadership committee. The best idea(s) win some nominal cash for the individuals on the winning team(s), and the proposals move forward with a "champion" to work with the team to actual launch.

PowerPitch is as PwC U.S. Chairman, Bob Mortiz, puts it "a [worthwhile] investment in time and money, but we needed to balance short-term costs against long-term sustainability."

Nearly 800 ideas were submitted from round 1 and these were narrowed down to the top 25 for round 2 and then ultimately to 5 teams of semifinalists and a winning best proposal--however all five ended up deemed "worthy of investing in."

And if even one of the proposals becomes the next $100 million line of business for the company, it will be more than worth the investment.

PowerPitch may not have Simon Cowell from American Idol to keep the competitors on their toes or Donald Trump from The Apprentice to say "You're fired!", but it has enough of excitement, morale-boosting, idea generation and widespread collaboration to keep an organization out front and advance their mission and workforce.

(Source Photo: here)

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December 26, 2010

Hollywood Sees The Future and It Is Shapeshifting

Ever since watching Star Trek, I’ve been fascinated by shapeshifting’s potential uses for military and law enforcement.

Now, The Economist (11 December 2010) reports that shapeshifting material, or “liquid armor,” is being tested by BAE for high-tech body armor.

Traditional body armor contains about 30 layers of protective Kevlar; however, by using the new material between the protective fibers, BAE is able to reduce the layers of Kevlar to just 10, making for lighter and more comfortable protection.

The secret to the liquid armor is that it is made of “shear-thickening fluids” from nano-engineering particles of silica, which provide the shapeshifting properties: “The molecules in such liquids are closely packed, but loosely arranged. The material behaves like a liquid in normal conditions…[but] if subjected to pressure though [like from a projectile], the molecules lock together and behave like a solid.”

In the body armor, when the fluid sandwiched Kevlar is struck by a bullet, the molecules in fluid lock together and spread the impact, thereby absorbing it more effectively.

This seems like an exciting development applying chemical engineering to protecting the warfighter and law enforcement officers.

What is also so cool is that the concept of shapeshifting being a potent force showed up almost two decades ago in movies and television—and once again we have life imitating art (so to speak)!

Hollywood captured the shapeshifters in both the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series (1993-1999). In Terminator II, a shapeshifting cyborg is sent back in time to try and kill John Connor, the leader of the resistance against the cyborgs. The shapeshifter takes on the form of the various people and things to try and get Connor, but ultimately in thwarted by the original Terminator (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger). Similarly, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Otto is a shapeshifting constable on the space station that protects the station and the Star Fleet command making frequent use of his abilities to shift forms, but always returning at rest to his liquid state to rejuvenate.

I’ve got to say that I applaud Hollywood and continue to see it as not only a creative core for our entertainment, but also a prescient forbear to technology and events to come.

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December 29, 2009

What Hollywood Can Teach Us About Fighting Terrorism

U.S. law enforcement officials have thwarted about two dozen known terrorist plots since 9/11 and there are probably lots more that haven’t made the papers. Some of them, like this month’s “Underwear Bomber” have nicknames, like the “Shoe Bomber” (2002), the “Lackawanna Six,” (same year), and the “Virginia Jihad” (2003). Others are known by geographical location, such as Fort Dix (2007) and the foiled plot against synagogues in the Bronx (2009). But one thing they all have in common is their determination to threaten and even destroy our freedom and way of life.

As a person who is deeply dedicated to America’s safety and security, both personally and professionally, I worry about the rise of terrorism that has sprung up in the past few decades. Terrorists are relentlessly determined to destroy our lives even if it means taking their own lives to do it. But what is even more frightening is that despite all the actions we have taken to fight terrorism, our culture remains deeply reactive. Can we really stay one step ahead and lucky forever?

The best example of our relative complacency in the face of a deadly threat is the policy of taking off our shoes for screening only after the case of the Shoe Bomber came to light. Now again, we waited for an Underwear Bomber before talking seriously and publicly about full body screening for all?

There is a saying that you can’t drive a car by looking in the rearview mirror, but unfortunately that seems to be the way our culture approaches the fight against terrorism. The focus should not be on stopping the last threat, but on anticipating and countering the future threat before it ever materializes.

To do this, we need to think like the bad guys do as well as conduct more exercises to expose our own security weaknesses (red teaming), rather than be surprised when the terrorists find our next Achilles heel.

In the particular case of the Underwear Bomber, it was particularly shocking that we knew this person was a threat. His own father warned us, yet we didn’t put him on the terrorist watch list or revoke his visa (as the British did). And just today I read that this individual told investigators there are literally hundreds more just like him, all waiting to strike.

Think about that for a second. There are seemingly endless terrorists out there, and they can have a 99% failure rate and still be “successful.” Yet U.S. and global law enforcement can’t fail at all—not even once—without dire and deadly consequences on a massive scale.

However, instead of gripping that unbelievable reality and treating it as the dire situation it is, there is actually talk about “rehabilitating” the terrorists. As if we have succeeded at rehabilitating “normal” criminals…now we are going to try and “deprogram” people who are religiously “inspired” to commit their diabolical deeds?

To adequately manage the new reality we face today, we must not only stay ahead of known threats, but also proactively envision new potential attack scenarios, prepare for them, and thwart them before they become potentially lethal.

A great place to start would be Hollywood; our entertainment industry has done a pretty good job of imaginatively exposing potential attack scenarios—in dozens of films from Air Force One to The Sum of All Fears, Executive Decision to The Peacemaker, and Arlington Road to The Siege, and many more.

There are also television shows like 24, with now seven seasons and counting, that keep Americans riveted to their seats week after week with terrorism plots that play out before our very eyes. We seem to generally view these as serious threats that are possible in our time.

I respect the President for openly acknowledging the "systematic failure," but it is going to take all of us to commit and follow through with ongoing security measures. It is not a one month or one year event (or even an 8 year event post 9/11), but rather a complete new security mindset that stays with us always.

We can and should learn from the visionary talent in our vibrant entertainment industry and from wherever else they may reside, and adopt creative and proactive thinking about terrorism and make this a regular part of our security culture. I understand that there are many forces at play here, and that most of us are not privy to some of the more sophisticated ways that we fight terrorism every day. But what I am talking about is our collective, public culture, which still seems to shrug off the seriousness of threats against us. For example, just today, I saw a sign in an airport that directed wheelchairs through security screening. It seemed almost an invitation to sew explosives into a wheelchair (although I understand that these are actually screened).

I have the deepest respect for the men and women who serve to protect us every day. But as a culture, it is long past time to wake up. We don’t have the luxury of collective denial anymore. We must embrace security as a fact of life, fully and in an ongoing manner.

Further, as we approach 2010, let us resolve to learn from the most imaginative people in our society about how we may think out of the box when it comes to combating terrorism.

In the real world, we must act now to quickly deploy new, more advanced screening technologies to our airports, marine ports, and border crossings, and employ our most creative minds to “outwit, outplay, and outlast” the terrorists who plot against us—whether in their shoes, their underwear, or wherever else their evil schemes might lead them.


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