Tag Archive: National Geographic


“You read Playboy for the articles, right?

“No, I look at the pictures too … ”

He was repeatedly labeled then-and-now as a “sexist pig.”

He was seen as a dangerous cultural rebel.

He was an illusionist. He pedaled fantasies at a desultory time.

He advocated an exciting, edgy new lifestyle for men.

He was regarded by some as a new-age-for-males philosopher.

Hugh Hefner was an editor and publisher, who will go down in the history books.

Some will miss him, many will not … regardless he made a difference.

“Shaken, Not Stirred”

Author Ian Fleming passed away far too early at 56-years young in 1964.

The accounts of his fictional hero James Bond found favor with dashing debonair U.S. President John F. Kennedy, a priceless endorsement for any novelist.

Fleming’s writing/personal interview also found its way onto the pages of Hefner’s Playboy, “Entertainment for Men.”

In reality, Fleming’s secret agent with a license to kill, James Bond (played superbly by Sean Connery) was everything the America male was not, entering the 1960s. Alas, Fleming lived only long enough to see his prose transformed into two movies, Dr. No and From Russia With Love. The first raised many eyebrows with Connery as Bond teamed with bikini clad Ursula Andress, playing Honey Rider.

Honey Rider swam nude in Fleming’s novel, but not for the 1962 movie adaptation.

Seventeen years earlier, Life Magazine captured the iconic Rockwellesque image of the American sailor passionately kissing a nurse in Times Square on VJ Day characterizing the advent of the Baby Boom (1946-1964).

And with the babies came piss, poop, vomit, crying, wailing and screaming. The preoccupation during years of rationing and the G.I Bill was raising children in suburban communities. We liked Ike, but life other than the Korean War/McCarthy-era Red Scare was more than a tad boring with cookie-cutter cars, crew cuts, skinny ties and white shirts.

Enter Hugh Hefner in 1953 with his scandalous Playboy with a scantily clad Marilyn Monroe on the cover. On the inside was a totally unattired horizontally posed Mizz Monroe on red velvet. Asked what was on during her famous pose, Monroe reportedly replied, “the radio.” The collector’s item inaugural issue of Playboy was an immediate sell out.

There was far more than the girl next door in subsequent issues. There were fast cars, exotic global destinations, tasty liquors, perfect suits, gambling, executive jets and a walk on the wild side. Men were shown how their lives could be, and how to rebel against mediocrity instead of merely running out the clock on their boring/mostly forgettable miserable lives.

Ian Fleming’s M16 James Bond epitomized the Playboy lifestyle with his ejector seat equipped Aston Martin, his vodka martinis, sun glasses at the windswept beach, goggles at the Alpine ski resorts, how he defeated the bad dudes and won over the Bond girl.

Sure beats working all day at the office orfactory and returning to the burbs for meat loaf.

“Life Must Have Purpose”

Meryl Streep playing the role of Mrs. Thatcher, and replied to Dennis’ marriage proposal stating that her life must be more than simply raising children. In reality, Margaret Thatcher was more than the first woman PM of the United Kingdom; she made a difference.

Life indeed had a noble purpose for the Iron Lady.

Almost DailyBrett subscribed to both National Geographic and Playboy during the years as they both took you to places you will most likely never visit in your lifetime.

Your author rejects sedentary lifestyles (no binge watching) that emphasize doing and achieving. Hugh Hefner and Ian Fleming through their editing and writing respectively changed the world. Their lives had purpose then and now.

Hefner and to less extent, Fleming, were both accurately accused as being sexists who objectified the fairer gender. Both are guilty as charged.

The real question in the eyes of the author of Almost DailyBrett is whether we are better as a society in that  men were encouraged to do more in their lives than go to work, raise children and watch television at night.

There is a big exciting world out there and we are fortunate to be here for a relatively short period of time. This proposition applies to both genders. Life does not need to be restricted and boring. It can be upwards to the right, and not just on Wall Street.

There needs to be respect and understanding, but that does not mean we can’t go out and have our vodka martini in an exciting foreign locale… shaken of course, but not stirred.

https://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21729969-founder-playboy-empire-was-91-hugh-hefner-died-september-27th

http://www.ianfleming.com/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/the-decision-to-pose-for-playboy/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/farewell-to-the-girl-next-door/

“A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.” – General George S. Patton

A happy problem, but still a dilemma, for organizations/movements/great leaders, who have just achieved long-sought landmark accomplishments, is: What will you do for an encore?

For championship college and professional sports teams the answer is relatively easy to state, harder to achieve: repeat. The Chicago Blackhawks are tasked with skating the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in seven seasons next spring. The Golden State Warriors are faced with the challenge of winning back-to-back NBA titles, something that has never occurred in the franchise’s mostly desultory history.

[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Gay-rights activists gathered outside of the Supreme Court on the morning when the Court handed down its decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Gay-rights activists gathered outside of the Supreme Court on the morning when the Court handed down its decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

For the same-sex marriage movement the June 26 Supreme Court ruling, legalizing the right of gay people to marry, was made by a razor-thin 5-4 Obergefell v. Hodges decision. The impact nonetheless was 50-0 as every state is immediately and permanently required to permit the performing of same-sex unions, and to recognize their legality regardless of where or how (e.g., civil, religious) they occur.

The next question, which has already been posed by The New York Times and others, for the successful civil rights campaign, is what comes next? The answer will come in the form of celebrating a great political and society victory (e.g., Pride Parades). Eventually, the cheering will subside and the reality of everyday life and the challenge of American politics returns. Now what? Certainly, there is the continued necessity of protecting hard-earned rights and preventing discrimination, and that makes sense; still the question must be posed:

What comes next?

This is an easy question to pose, much more difficult to answer … and with it, the dilemma that has vexed organizations, movements and great characters throughout the course of history.

“One Small Step for Man; One Giant Leap for Mankind”

Let’s face it: NASA has not been the same since 1969.armstrongmoon

Neil Armstrong defied death, and made it to-and-from the moon with far less computing power than can be found in a modern-day smart phone. The first man on the moon had his ticker tape parade upon returning to Mother Earth. His place in the history books is cemented. Undoubtedly, his obits had already been written by the day the Grim Reaper came-a-calling in 2012.

In the face of competing budgetary demands and $18 trillion in record red ink and counting at $3.3 billion per day at the federal level, NASA has become just another agency with a huge public relations problem as it must justify its existence in the absence of any realistic plans to put humans on other planets anytime soon.

The current edition of National Geographic has a cover story about NASA, the New Horizons spacecraft, and hopefully the first ever photos of Pluto, expected on July 14. Checking out the last planet of the solar system is cool, but Armstrong walking on the moon was legendary.

Gone are the days of John F. Kennedy and the Cold War competition and the call to put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Yes, we won that technology contest against the Soviet Union, and just 22 years after Armstrong walked on the moon, the USSR collapsed. Russia has hardly bothered us since then.

Not as momentous as the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on same-sex marriage or Neil Armstrong walking on the moon was an accomplishment dear to the heat of the author of Almost DailyBrett: The opening of the long closed Japan market to foreign designed-and-manufactured semiconductors, including those originating from Silicon Valley.siliconwafer

In my tenure as the director of communications for the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and later as the director of corporate public relations for LSI Logic, yours truly worked for three years on this contentious issue.

At one time, Japan was in its ascendancy having driven Intel Corporation out of the DRAM (dynamic random access memory) market, a technology Intel actually invented. The U.S. semiconductor industry was being ushered into oblivion in the 1980s by Japan Inc.’s “Business is War” practices, the same fate that fell upon America’s pioneering color-TV industry.

The SIA and its members worked with Washington D.C. to stop predatory pricing or dumping of Japanese chips below cost, and finally pried open the Japanese market in 1996. The opening of  Japan and the decades-long recession eased the Japanese competitive threat. The U.S. industry achieved a great victory, but then … you guessed it … the question ensued: What was next for the SIA and its members?

Just like NASA, the SIA has tried one gambit after another to recapture its sense of purpose. The problem is that without an overriding issue (e.g., man on the moon, opening the Japan market), organizations and even individuals (e.g., General Patton when World War II ended) in many cases are never the same again.pattonscott

The war has been won. The cheering has subsided. The reality of what have you done lately ensues. An organization’s, movement’s, leader’s raison d’etre is no longer certain. A new public relations challenge comes to the forefront with no easy answers.

Some organizations, movements and leaders have successfully met the challenge of victory, while others face internal dissension as they struggle to come up with an answer to precisely what they should do for Act II.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gay-marriage-and-other-major-rulings-at-the-supreme-court/2015/06/25/ef75a120-1b6d-11e5-bd7f-4611a60dd8e5_story.html?wpisrc=nl_evening&wpmm=1

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/us/gay-rights-leaders-push-for-federal-civil-rights-protections.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0

http://www.biography.com/people/neil-armstrong-9188943

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/632929-for-over-a-thousand-years-roman-conquerors-returning-from-the

 

 

 

The University of Google is where I got my degree from.” – Anti-Vaccine Activist and Blonde Celebrity Jenny McCarthyjenny

“Even for scientists, the scientific method is a hard discipline. Like the rest of us, they’re vulnerable to what they call ‘confirmation bias’ – the tendency to look for and see only evidence that confirms what they already believe.” – Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post, writing for National Geographic

There have been a lot of –isms in global history … most of them were/are not good, even though a few of them are more than okay (e.g., Buddhism).

It seems like there is a relatively new –ism that is building in intensity in the First World: Foodism.

And with Foodism come its adherents/zealots: The Foodinistas.

It’s not hard to find this rapidly replicating species as its high-rent habitat keeps expanding from shade-growing, free-trade coffee with soy stands to gluten-free bakeries to vegan & veggie restaurants to über-expensive, organic Whole Foods.gluten-freefallon

And the frenzy does not stop there. How about the continued ban toward adding natural mineral fluoride in the water of Portland, Oregon? How about those who adamantly refuse to vaccinate their children against whooping-cough, measles and other diseases? And let’s not forget what columnist Charles Krauthammer has labeled, the narcissistic pursuit of the home-birth “experience”?

Like the devotees of other –isms of history, the Foodinistas are almost religious in their devotion to their cause(s), even though they are usually secular in their orientation. They are armed with their increasingly wireless Google, Bing or Yahoo search engines. Literally in nano-seconds with their personal “filter bubbles” they can find what they are looking for and conveniently ignore all the rest.

If you care to spend time with them (if you must), you will find bright, highly educated, well-compensated Foodinistas, inhabiting aware enclaves such as San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma and Alameda Counties (e.g., California examples), who are more than happy to proclaim the overwhelming virtues of their shade grown, gluten-free, pro-GMO labeling, anti-vaccination, pro home-birth, anti-vaccination, veggie/vegan existence.

First-World Starvation?

Foodinistas are hungry; they are always hungry, which means food is always top of mind. Is there any wonder why humor is not in great supply with this crowd? A growling stomach and a good time don’t typically go hand-in-hand.

Even though we live in the richest country on the planet, the one that has more than its fair share of food choices in its supermarkets and restaurants, there are ever-more that Foodinistas will not eat as opposed to what they will actually consume. And as time goes on and more pseudo-science articles are posted online, their acceptable food groups shrink even further as they grow more “mature.”chemicals

Some will chop veggies for two, three, four hours or longer in order to prepare a vegan feast (hold the honey, honey; it belongs to the bees). Guess what? The process is repeated for the next meal and the next and the next and …

In an extreme case, a Foodinista will break the vegan fast for a (gasp!) vegetarian meal on Fridays, only on Fridays. There is no alteration of this pattern permitted. The Swallows of Capistrano wish they could be this predictable.

A gluten-free prince or princess will challenge everything that is being served including white and red wine. What do grapes have to do with the gluten in grains?

And what are some of the places that require labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs)? How about China, Russia and Vermont? Maybe Vladimir Putin will next annex Ben and Jerry’s?

Is increasingly legal, taxed, regulated medicinal marijuana gluten free? Almost DailyBrett can see the coming Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) roll-out for gluten-free weed.

Pass the coconut oil

“The people who believe that vaccines cause autism, often well-educated and affluent — are undermining ‘herd immunity’ to such diseases as whooping-cough and measles.” — Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post, writing for National Geographic

Is it just Jimmy Fallon, little ole me and a few others who see that this Foodism religion taking on even more Kool-Aid drinking zealots?filterbubble

And what are the consequences of the behavior of Foodinistas? It ranges from forcing even more to listen to one more narcissistic epic tale of triumph over gluten and Porterhouses to the unnecessary spread of measles and other diseases. Have these folks ever weighed the impact of their behavior on their own personal brand and reputation? The most important public relations are personal public relations.

One would think that we have enough to worry about including the record $18 trillion+ and climbing federal deficit, ISIS atrocities, rampant obesity, whether the majority of Millennials will be able to buy a home anytime in their lifetimes, and if way too many Baby Boomers will live years/decades longer than their retirement funds. There are others who are obsessed with food: They live in the Third World.

Almost DailyBrett will humbly argue there are real issues that deserve our attention, not whether a scone is gluten free or not or whether it is safe to engage in have-a-blast vegetarianism on any day other than Friday.

Something tells me that fun and Foodism are two F-bombs that don’t go well together.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/science-doubters/barnes-photography

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-05-27/news/9605270029_1_midwife-first-child-childbirth

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2014/08/25/why-liberal-americans-are-turning-against-gmo-labeling/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filter_bubble

 

 

“If it’s too loud, you’re too old.” – Too many authors claiming credit

For years, I dreamed of freedom of music…in particular unrepentant rock ‘n roll with the volume cranked.

nikeipod

Mumsy went to Julliard. I can’t find middle C.

She swoons to Mozart, Goodman, Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Old Blue Eyes.

Give me Mick, Keith, Robert, Jimmy, Pete and Roger…loud. (How was music even possible before the invention of electricity?).

My childhood/adolescent home was not kind and accepting to What Is and What Should Never Be (Led Zeppelin 2:2).

Now through the miracle of digital technology, all of these rockers now live within the friendly confines of my one-inch my iPod. I can play them as spirited as I want…at least for now.

Soon after the smoke died down at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, many become increasingly concerned about individual liberties.

Would the TSA strip-search granny? Was the Department of Justice looking over the list of our library books? Was the NSA eavesdropping on Arabic cell-phone conversations with Al-Qaeda? These concerns dovetailed with the presidency of one, George W. Bush.

Soon after a new president took office, the concern was redirected against private sector capitalists, including a particular chief executive, the one with a hoodie, Mark Zuckerberg.

Was Facebook, prepping for and executing the world’s first kicking-and-screaming IPO, profiting off our freely volunteered demographic information and thus violating our cherished privacy?

Recently, I have been reading about the latest health concern raised by New York’s “Republican” nanny Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

bloomberg

Fresh off his enjoined campaign targeting sodas more than 16-ounces, Hizzoner is now taking aim at loud music via ear buds. No one else hears it, but still mayor-dearest wants to intrude. For now, he is focusing on a public service campaign warning us of the auditory dangers of iPods and MP3 players.

Deep down inside, you know he wants to regulate the volume of digital music players. Is there another way the Gotham Big Brother can save New Yorkers from themselves?

This all brings up a very basic question: When does regulating on behalf of the overall “public good” cross the line and become “tyranny?” Do we believe that “tyranny” is only the province of the U.S. security apparatus and multinational corporations? Or can tyranny be disguised as “public good” by those who occupy positions of power in our ever-expanding, taxing and regulating federal, state and local governments?

Lately, I have contemplated placing plastic supermarket bags and water bottles under my pillow. I used to take them for granted, but that is no longer the case. In a little more than six weeks, I will no longer have the liberty to carry my groceries out of a Eugene, Oregon supermarket in plastic bags, even though they are stronger and more efficient. Sniff…I am already starting to miss them because they have become symbols of a soon-to-be-lost individual freedom.

On May 1 (the same day the tanks and missiles were proudly displayed for decades under waving red banners in Moscow), the City of Eugene under party chairman…err…Mayor Kitty Piercy and her colleagues will celebrate a ban against plastic bags. We can buy renewable paper bags (the trees will give their all) from these very same stores for a nickel each, but that is not the purpose of this social-engineering exercise. Instead, this campaign is to “encourage” us to bring our own bags to the store.

What will happen to those who already proudly proclaim and pontificate far and wide about how special they are because they shop with their sustainable, renewable, organic, fair-trade, shade-grown, gluten-free hemp bags? Will they no longer be able to exalt their near-exclusive virtue? Will they smoke their bags instead, and demand that government decriminalize, regulate and tax them?

The most sinister threat on the horizon comes in the form of domestic drones (unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs). You can already buy them on Amazon and the FAA is opening up US airspace under 400 feet for their use. UAV merchants see America’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies as potential customers. Mayor Bloomberg, the #17 ranked billionaire on the planet, could personally corner the market on domestic UAVs to make sure we are all being good. Mayor Piercy could have her own drones to make sure we are not even thinking about using plastic bags or bottles.

drones

National Geographic reported that news agencies are potential customers for UAVs for “scoping out public events and celebrity backyards.” Hmmm…Does that mean the National Enquirer will be a potential purchaser and user of UAVs? Don’t bet against it.

And what precisely is going on in those celebrity backyards?

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/06/17212455-2-loud-crew-bloomberg-targets-nyc-teens-who-blast-music-through-their-ear-buds

http://www.ydr.com/nation-world/ci_22731695/nyc-mayor-bloomberg-takes-aim-at-loud-headphones

http://news.msn.com/us/judge-invalidates-nycs-ban-on-large-sugary-drinks

http://news.msn.com/us/nyc-prepares-for-tuesdays-limit-on-size-of-sugary-drinks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bloomberg

http://rgweb-c.registerguard.com/web/news/sevendays/29466805-57/bags-plastic-ban-eugene-bag.html.csp

http://www.eugene-or.gov/index.aspx?NID=2060

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/6/domestic-drones-hunt-gun-carriers-america-homeland/

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21571879-civil-libertarians-are-still-worried-heres-looking-you

http://news.msn.com/us/are-you-being-watched-the-future-of-domestic-drones

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/opinion/the-dawning-of-domestic-drones.html?_r=0

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=drone&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=4306923347&hvpos=1o1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=20224406211927834130&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&ref=pd_sl_34tzkjlobk_b

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