Sunday, December 27, 2009

Top 5 Stories Of The Decade

The year was 1999 and we were on the threshold of a new millennium. People were panic stricken over the theory that the world's computers would crash when the year 2000 rolled in. President Bill Clinton assured us that the world would be safe and as the ball dropped at midnight on Time Square in New York City, we all would find out the Y2K wouldn't come.

This was the beginning of the 21st century. The world celebrated. Jobs were plentiful. Gas prices averaged $1.09 a gallon and the World Trade Center held the title of the tallest building in New York City.

As quickly as the new century rolled in the world would prove to change just as fast. Here is my list of the top events that shaped this decade and our every day lives.

5.) Hurricane Katrina: August 29, 2005. When hurricane Katrina, a category 3 hurricane, struck New Orleans, no one was prepared to what was to come. The intense rains and winds from the storm breached the levees which held back water from from flooding the city which sat below sea level. In the end, over 1,800 lives were lost, 200,000 homes were destroyed, 1,000,000 people were homeless and over 1,000,000,000 dollars in damage was done. What was most shocking in this disaster was the lack of response of President Bush and our federal government, which took days to send help to save the drowning city and it's dying residence.

4.) President Barack Obama: On January 20, 2009, the United States Of America swore in the first African-American President. This would be a major turning point in a history of racism and prejudice toward blacks in our country.

3.) The Iraq War: It began on March 20, 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by multinational forces led by the United States which believed that Iraq possessed "Weapons Of Mass Destruction". This would later prove to be misinformation from government sources. The Iraqi government, which proved to be inhumanly cruel to it's civilians would soon be over thrown. It's President President Hussein would be executed after being found guilty of crimes against humanity and the war would continue because of beliefs of Iraq's ties to terrorist groups which threatened out nation and the world. As of December 26, 2009 nearly 5 thousand American soldiers lives were lost, over 100 thousand civilian died and nearly 800 billion dollars was spent on the war

2. The Recession: It began in December 2007 when our nation's banks began to fail in part of loans that couldn't be paid back. Soon businesses began to close, homes were foreclosed and the unemployment rate shot through the ceiling hitting a high of 11.8 %.

1. The Terrorist Attacks Of September 11, 2001: On a bright and sunny Tuesday morning in September, terrorist would hijack 4 airliners on east coast of the United States. Two of these planes would be used as missiles and fly straight into The World Trade Center buildings in New York City causing the buildings to collapse on the streets below. In Washington, DC, the third plane would crash into the Pentagon Building, destroying a portion of the structure. The fourth plane, United Flight 93 would target Washington, DC but would never reach it's destination. After learning the hijackers' plan to crash the plane into a building in Washington, the planes passengers would rise up and storm the hijackers moments before the plane would crash in a field in Pennsylvania. A total of 2,976 people would lose their lives on this day.

It's almost amazing the we survived the first 10 years of the 21st century. Let us all hope that the next 10 go more smoothly.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Rudolph The Red Nosed Freak (original post 12-07)

(take this all in fun)
Tonight I watched "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer", what some people consider a classic Christmas cartoon. I'm here to let the truth be known about this "holiday classic"

This cartoon has so many hidden messages of hate and prejudices . It's a story about a small reindeer (Rudolph) that's born into the world with what some other reindeers and SANTA would call a deformity. A shinny nose that glows a bright red hue.

Rudy's parents are horrified when they realize their son is "different" and they try to hide his glowing beak from the world by making him wear this ridiculous looking black casing over it. Now Rudy fits well into society and is popular and excels in sports such as flying and other events in the Reindeer Games.

Things go terribly wrong for Rudolph the second his light bulb like nose is exposed to the world. His "friends" look at him in horror, staring at the red nose pulsating in front of them. Then Santa walks up to Rudolph's parents and says, and I quote, " Donnor (Rudy's dad), you should be ashamed of yourself!" What kind of man is this Santa??? Telling a parent he should be ashamed of himself because his son was born deformed! Who's he to talk, after all the man is a walking heart attack with that huge gut and don't even get me going about sneaking into children's rooms at night while everyone is asleep... the sicko.

Any how, we then have this little elf named Herbie. The guy hates working in this sweat shop like factory making toys. I'm sure the money sucks, if they get paid at all. The guy dreams of becoming a dentist and for that he's ridiculed by the forman and ends up running away because in the North Pole it's obvious it's a communist state and you're not allowed to follow a dream.

While running from the horrors of Santa's workshop Herbie meets Rudolph who has ben shunned from society and is now on his own in the freezing cold. The pair end up on an island. This is the worst part of the entire story. It's an island where civilians are sent that don't fit into the "normal world" to live out their lives in isolation. Kind of a leper colony of sorts. On this " Misfit Island" the duo meet toys that were banished after they didn't meet the evil Santa's standards. This menacing bunch would wait day and night for someone to come rescue them from the hellish prison and dreamed of a world where they would be a welcomed without prejudice.

We quickly learn that on Christmas Eve night the world is covered with some eerie fog and Santa realizes that his super race of reindeers are pretty much useless because they can't find their way through this heavy cloud cover. This is the point where Santa shows his true colors and hits an all time low. He decides to use his physically deformed freak reindeer Rudolph because his glowing nose would light the way. Because Santa needs Rudy, because he has no where else to turn, he allows Rudolph to live among the "normals". WHAT A LOW LIFE USER!" If I was that reindeer I would fly Santa's fat butt smack into an iceberg and let him sink like the Titanic.

The message of this story is if you don't fit into society. If you're different in any way it's o.k. to be ridiculed and shunned until you're needed to save everyone's butts.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Birth Of The Modern Day Santa

The image of Santa Clause has changed drastically over the years, from a small elf like creature to a tall stern looking fellow. He's gone from slender to fat. His coat as gone from green to red. From all the transformations jolly ole' St. Nick has gone through, none have been so important in shaping Santa as he appears today then the Coca Cola Company.

Some claim that the influence that the company had on Santa's image is just urban legend but here are the facts and a sweet look at some classic images of Santa Clause through the artist fro the Coca-Cola Company.

It all began in 1931, when Coca-Cola wanted to change the idea taht their soda was just for the warmer weather. They decided to have an ad campaign showing Santa drinking the cola in the cold and show the world that "Thirst Knows No Season".

The first ad, drawn by artist Haddon Sundblom, showed a department working Santa drinking a Coke in a crowded store. The ad was featured in the magazine The Saturday Evening Post. The ad was a hit but the executives at Coke wanted the next ad to feature the "real" Santa.

Haddon turned to the classic 1822 poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" and he used the description of Santa Clause from that poem and reshaped it into his own version. Santa Clause was now a jolly, plump older man with a full beard, a red suit and a thirst for Coca-Cola. This warm, heart felt image would capture the world's imagination and from that day on, Santa Clause would have a face we would all fall in love with.

Here are some early classic ads from the Coca-Cola Company featuring Santa, his white beard and a refreshing bottle of Coke.

(Click on the image to see full size.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons

It started in 1924 when employees at the Macy's Department Store in NYC decided to put on a parade and marched down 145th street in Harlem to The Macy's Store on 34th Street. There were bands, animals borrowed from the zoo at Central Park, floats and costumes.
This parade was called "The Macy's Christmas Parade". Nearly 90 years later, this parade, now known as The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" has evolved into a NYC tradition as famous as the New Year's Eve Ball dropping in Time Square.

From marching bands to elaborate floats, this parade is HUGE. But what the parade is best know for is the giant hot air balloons that hover above the marchers and millions of people watching below. Here's a look at some of the more famous balloons.

(click on the picture to see full size)