Blog Archives

America’s Tip of the Hat to President Lincoln

From a cramped log cabin to the White House, Abraham Lincoln’s personal story in becoming the 16th president of the United States of America is remarkable. His perseverance combined with his vision and sense of humor in a stressful job resulted in a legacy that stands as tall as the man himself.

Exploring the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois today was insightful and impressive. Here are a few pictures that include said museum, as well as his preserved home nearby.

image image image image image image image

President Lincoln’s presence was felt all day long, partly due to the historic items from his life and partly due to his selfless and consequential service for his country that provided optimistic light during some of this nation’s darkest years.

Mr. Lincoln was (and still is) an icon of strong American leadership.

Applying Creativity to Unforgettable Visions

As the weekend is now only hours away from its inception, there are surely a myriad of great activities to do and interesting places to go and visit this Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. There are new restaurants and menus to try and stores to shop at with unapologetic purpose. However, on March 14, 2014, Jimmy’s Daily Planet encourages you to schedule at least a couple hours for one specific endeavor in between your individual quests: take in an art museum.

Why?

Why not is a better question, but the reason for today’s recommendation stems from a reaction of rejuvenated curiosity from watching a video interview with a famed movie director who has produced multiple films told and shown with imaginatively epic storytelling for all to see on the silver screen.

Only the ambiguous dynamics and complexities of art directly bonds Francis Bacon with the modern Joker.

Let a painting put a smile on your face this weekend!

The Man in the Black Fedora

Thanks to the digital magic of the DVR, “The Blacklist” was last night’s feature once the awesomeness of, “The Goldbergs” rocked its final inspiring nostalgic note for the week. Another great half-hour journey back to the ’80s.

The power of the VHS tape…

Focusing back on, “The Blacklist,” this national security mystery added yet another name to the aforementioned list. The diabolical characteristics of the villains continue to shock and surprise, while the anti-hero Reddington remains a constant. However, Reddington is different than most television leads.

Why?

The answer boils down to the actor who plays him…or is it the other way around?

James Spader is weird, smart, sharp, cocky, borderline creepy and full of ambiguous intrigue.

He’s like a perplexing painting in a museum. At first glance, you think you have it all figured out. Then, as you begin to walk away, you take a second look and something’s changed. You gently rub your eyes in a bewilderment, but you’re still convinced something definitely changed. After a minute passes, you don’t want to or think you need to stay in the room, but you’re in a trance. The experience is downright odd, leaving a void of all the answers you seek. You can’t help but continue to look, searching for the exciting answer.

Spader has played lots of memorable roles, but Reddington suits him as perfectly as the three-piece suits he wears (plus the dynamite hats). As crazy and insane as it may read, it’s easy to imagine that James Spader is like Reddington in his spare time. As in that’s how he acts on the weekend. No big deal, just a Thursday-Saturday excursion to the Bahamas to Paris to D.C. with the itinerary consisting of moral dilemmas, beautiful women, breathtaking locations and powerful enemies to manipulate and defeat.

And one cannot forget about a delicious and savory meal in a five-star hotel with a bodyguard.

His eerily reassuring presence is one of the primary reasons why this show has been such a success thus far. Writing and portraying the story lines of, “The Blacklist” for network television without a major motion picture budget has proven to be difficult in the past. Consequently, the final product has come off as campy and, therefore, lacking in believability.

Not “The Blacklist.”

The action is explosive, the suspense is palpable, the settings are realistic, the characters and their movements are precise and gritty and the twists are startling and fun.

“The Blacklist” is accomplishing (so far) what all good television shows and movies achieve, which is temporarily relieving the viewer from his or her reality to fully immerse ones self into the dramatic, comedic and/or action packed world for a short period of time. We’re not simply watching the actors or actresses portray characters, but are instead embracing an engaging, puzzling story unfold through the guidance of a reticent lead.

Who is Reddington exactly? Why does he insist on working with Agent Keen?

We’ll just have to wait until next week for the 6th episode…or viewing.

The good news about a television show and a museum is that there are no visitation limits.

We All Have an Ocean View

Information is addicting. Plain and simple. Those NBC commercials titled, “The More You Know” always spark an internal curiosity in me. Watching those brief messages on the weekend from NBC personalities is like taking a swig of Knowledgeade. 

I’m ready to go Mr. Lauer!

Aside from these brief, uplifting messages are a myriad of other outlets before us that present nearly unlimited opportunities for discovery and insight. The access to information on a daily basis is astonishing in the 21st century. It’s even borderline mesmerizing considering the world once existed and functioned well before a printing press was invented, let alone the pre-Internet era. Consider this: a phone is actually a computer first, with its calling capabilities down to probably third or fourth on the priority list of preferred functionality.

We all know it’s true. And if you think that’s an exaggeration, perhaps you are forgetting about the camera, your wide array of cool apps and your digital music player. Plus, don’t neglect the GPS (seriously, don’t neglect it).

Even the term “iCloud” has altered our perspective of the sky above us. No longer do we glance up into the open sky and blankly ponder the open space with imaginative daydreams. Instead, we look up and visualize data points and infinite transfers of structured and random information moving from Point A to Point B with a diagonal cut to Point S.

Is this a good evolutionary trait?

There are some nights when I look forward to relaxing and taking a break from writing papers and participating in the daily grind. Laying comfortably on a couch with a favorite show playing on the television in front of me, the urge becomes too overwhelming. I instantly (while simultaneously regretting it) open up my MacBook Pro that was closed and start searching for witty articles by a specific author or funny interview clips from a talk show.

On the one hand, it’s good that we are a people that is anxious and excited to seek and find new bits of information. Expanding our horizons should be viewed as a positive characteristic.

Still though, is it really positive that we’ve developed a never-ending quest for knowledge (traditional and non-traditional alike) that prevents us from taking necessary mental breaks?

On the knowledge front, we’ve all moved to the beach with a beautiful ocean view. Everyday, we look out into the vast blue, shimmering openness with the ambition to learn something new, knowing full well that complete knowledge is impossible. We take the dive regardless. On Wednesday, it’s waves hitting a bunch of rocks we see far to the right that stirs our inquisitiveness. On Thursday morning, we see surfers, which makes us want to learn about the history of surfing. Friday evening shows us fun being enjoyed on the boardwalk. Something clicks in our minds that we find too irresistible not to explore.

The rocks, surfers and people on a boardwalk represents something different to each of us. Regardless, these are topics we now find ourselves searching about…virtually nonstop.

While we may be exhausted, we are still seeing things we may never be able to or think to see again.

It’s a classic dilemma.

Speaking of classic…