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Everything posted by JohnRgt

  1. Why do I doubt that the mainstream media will show that pic? Several radio commentators have mentioned that Bush 43 had better grades in college than Kerry. Why do I doubt that the mainstream media will mention that fact? The only good thing about JK is his sailboat, a Hinckley 42 MkII. The Q is does he have enough of a pulse to have picked it for the right reasons, or did he go for the $900K design because it's built in New England and has a Top 10 Ever reputation? JohnRGT
  2. Cardinals Win the World Series

    St Louis is now only second to the Yankees in the number of World Series won. (10 for the Birds, 26 for the Yanks.) Not to shift topic, but does anyone have any thoughts Re why the wild card teams are doing so well in the post-season? Should I be going with the obvious reason(s), ie, far less pressure/expectations? JohnRGT
  3. Great characterization, like great direction, cinematography, acting, etc, can only help tell the story those making the movie want to tell. Troy perverted key elements of the Iliad in a manner consistent with the prevailing philosophy of the day. (One example: The Greeks were made out to be the villains.) The characterization you found so noteworthy didn't spare key elements of the myth even though the Iliad is far more established than Atlas Shrugged.
  4. Peikoff on the coming election

    It hurts, but it's time to make our peace with the fact that Dr. Peikoff was wrong on this one. Further, he should acknowledge this error explicitly. (For what it's worth: the man has been one of my heroes for ten years.) JohnRGT
  5. Firearms Refresher Course For Free Citizens

    I'm an NRA member who will probably never own a firearm. When I first signed up someone sent me a bumper sticker that read ~, "Messing with the 2nd Amendment will trigger the 2nd Revolution." I think the author is incredibly optimistic. JohnRGT
  6. Hip-Hop

    If you have the time, could you list a dozen rap pieces where these influences really stand out? The styles you sight are defined by attributes that are, at best, used as splashes of color in a tiny % of the hip hop I've heard. JohnRGT
  7. Ray Sings Basie Swings

    Hi, Stephen -- I listened to this CD through Sennheiser HD600s, two high-end solid state systems, a walkman, and my car's system. The album had the thick feel of a live performance each time. I never, however, felt that the band overpowered Charles -- even when the Basie Orchestra was at its fattest. Because I was curious about sound quality I never adjusted tone or filtered the signal in any way. I'm sure that dropping the low end a bit would push the band way back. (I have a live recording of Basie backing up Ella Fitzgerald. The band on the Charles album sounds a lot like it does on the Fitzgerald recording -- big and thick across the board. I'd bet that Fitzgerald's ability to "duel" with Basie's soloists kept the band in its place. ) Tangent: The last time I saw Charles live, a concert he gave with Bo Diddley at Westbury Music Fair, he stopped in the middle of a song and screamed at the engineers for overpowering the audience. "The audience isn't deaf! These people aren't stupid!!" (WMF is in the round, so even large orchestras need some amplification. Great venue, BTW.) JohnRGT
  8. Well, look at what "they" did to the Iliad in Troy. JohnRGT
  9. As soon as I finished my first reading of Atlas Shrugged I thought it would make a once in a lifetime mini-series. Too bad it's to be a movie. Jolie? Her presence lacks the refinement I'd need to see in a Dagny. (I'm so tired of directors stressing Jolie's eyes and lips "games.") Pitt? Maybe as a Ragnar. I'd rather see Sean Bean or Viggo Mortenson as Galt (No, not a big Ring fan... ) Kelley? Why not Branden or even Chomsky? Having said all the above, I'm thrilled that the book will be talked about again, something that can only strengthen the Objectivist movement. JohnRGT JohnRGT
  10. If he does well this post-season, and he's certainly due for a memorable post-season, those who get aroused when he falters will return to a state of impotence, leaving ARod wit the usual stuff high-profilers deal with all day. JohnRGT
  11. Alex Rodriguez is probably one of the five most talented baseball players in history. He does, however, have a serious flaw: criticism can affect his play tremendously. The nihilists, seeing that they can have some impact on a talent they barely believe possible, have attacked him with a level of “passion” they only experience when giants misstep. Example: On April 26, 2005, ARod had a 10-RBI game; he's only the eleventh player to bring that many runners home in a single game. The sports media’s reaction? They unleashed hell on him for releasing a $400 commemorative that celebrated this achievement. ARod's reaction to the assault? He immediately shut down ARod Collectibles, launched a charity for suicidal teeens, and talked about his tough childhood everywhere, all within weeks of that game. (It should be noted that ARod’s most trusted advisor, his wife, is a psychologist.) Back to the Village Voice piece: The Voice has had any number of opportunities to come to the rescue of all sorts of giants. Why defend ARod, a man who drains at least $25 million a year out of the economy just for hitting a ball with a stick? (The $25M is just salary.) I suspect it’s because he’s sensitive to how anything resembling a human being perceives him. (Gushing about his childhood in an “I’m just like you” style must have helped.) To me, always cynical about anything media-related, the AS reference was a clever message: “Even the most talented need to be sanctioned by the Organism. Have it, then.” Back to reality: The Yankees clinched the 2006 American League Eastern Division this week, even though they were plagued by an incredible number of injuries to key players, went two months with ever-shifting, unknown-packed rosters, and were written off by even the most honest commentators in May. If ARod finally manages a Mr. October-type post-season, I'd bet the rest of his career would raise the bar by miles. Tangent: For all the talk re high Yankees salaries, Boston was the first $100 million payroll team to win the World Series. The Yankees haven't taken it all since their payroll soared to 9–digits. As much as Village Voice & Friends hate it, the histories of professional sport, government, and business show that all Big Money can do is highlight the character and talent at the helm.
  12. Defending Free Speech Against Islam

    What courage!
  13. The Best Restaurants

    I've written a reply to the above. I just can't find the time to give the long post its final edit. Soon.... Thank you for your patience JohnRGT
  14. Yachting World LTE

    Hi all, Recently, I was looking through my magazine stacks for pictures that would convey the scale of a sailboat named Mirabella V for a sailing enthusiast (her mast soares 300 feet above the water's surface.) In the process, I bumped into an LTE I submitted to the highly regarded sailing magazine, Yachting World, defending this vessel against the cheap Freudian implications her mast's height all but assured would be flung at her by today's press. This long LTE lost some of its NY flow when the [british] magazine "transalted" it into English. I denote parts omitted in the printed version with brackets ([ ]). (Athena, and Maltese Falcon were mentioned in the original piece as yachts which, because they would be larger than Mirabella V, would somehow devastate the owner/driving force behind this incredible design; this from a writer who is always reminding sailors and manufacturers that a sailing vessel's dimensions determine performance.) The LTE: Sir, Contrary to what Mr. Glenn implied in his June piece on Mirabella V, I’d bet the farm that Mr. Vittoria couldn’t care less about Athena or Maltese Falcon being larger than his newest yacht, or if a sloop is launched someday that dwarfs her 300ft high mast. Anyone who understands the impact a sailing vessel’s dimensions have on her performance knows that Mirabella V has been commissioned with only one purpose in mind – to comfortably sail on all points, very, very quickly. (For those who don’t like to crunch numbers, one glance at her elegant, reserved, functional interior should make it clear that this was no “mine is bigger than yours” project.) This yacht is a milestone because she’ll actually be able to sail upwind and will easily, regularly, reach speeds in excess of twenty knots, doing so in safety and comfort. In other words, she matters because she’s the first yacht in her size category that can actually sail like a sailboat, as opposed to being yet another motoryacht whose owner had enough good taste to disguise his abomination as a sailing vessel. As Mr. Vittoria has said, if his goal was to shatter dimension records, he could have done so for [far] less money, risk, time and effort. Instead, he assembled the best innovators in the industry and led his team with the focus of a heat-seeking missile to something rational yet unprecedented: a megasailboat that sails! When such tenacity, character, and talent is concretized in an achievement like Mirabella V, the driving force behind the project should be praised [and cherished], not torn down [with innuendo rooted in the envious, nihilistic intellectual traditions that dominated the Twentieth Century.] Since your wonderful magazine will be covering some of these enormous yachts in the near future, I ask that you focus exclusively on the characteristics of the vessels, avoiding the common, and by now boring habit of psycholanalysing people of means. Reasonable people don’t care why or for whom these yachts are built – only what they can and cannot do on the water, and which design parameters lead to what performance advantages or disadvantages. [The launching of this vessel being such a life-affirming event, I end with a quote from Ayn Rand: “…because the sight of an achievement was the greatest gift a human being could offer to others.”] <END LTE> Reading the LTE some two years later, I'm shocked that I "bet the farm" -- not the keel, GPS, or tiller, but the farm... BTW: The last ten years have seen incredible innovations in the design of sailing vessels over 100ft -- so many in fact, that Yachting World is launching a sister magazine this October that focuses exclusively on these incredible designs! (I'll be monitoring... ) Regards, JohnRGT
  15. The World Is Not Enough

    It's so good to see a multi-deck yacht that's as fast as her styling implies. (For 20 years now, yachts this size have looked like rockets even though they can barely get to 25 knots.) JohnRGT
  16. CLK 55 AMG

    Congrats, Ray! Tuners are a dime of dozen, but AMG is in a league of its own. I'm still amazed that Damlier had the smarts to buy them. If only Porsche would "adopt" Ruf... How's the ride on urban roads, Ray? JohnRGT
  17. Great poems by the masters

    High praise, B. Royce. For those interested in reading more of Lawson's poems (this link is provide in the book): JohnRGT
  18. Great poems by the masters

    I found the following poem in Dianne L. Durante’s, Forgotten Delights: The Producers. A Selection of Manhattan’s Outdoor Sculpture For reviews of this great book, see (you want the CD-Rom): +++ “The Ships That Won’t Go Down” We hear a great commotion `Bout the ship that comes to grief, That founders in mid-ocean, Or is driven on a reef; Because it’s cheap and brittle A score of sinners drown. But we hear but mighty little Of the ships that won’t go down. Here’s honour to the builders – The builders of the past; Here’s honour to the builders That builded ships to last; Here’s honour to the captain, And honour to the crew; Here’s double-column headlines To the ships that battle through. They make a great sensation About famous men that fail, That sink a world of chances In the city morgue of gaol, Who drink, or blow their brains out, Because of “Fortune’s frown.” But we hear far too little Of the men who won’t go down. The world is full of trouble, And the world is full of wrong, But the heart of man is noble, And the heart of man is strong! They say the sea sings dirges, But I would say to you That the wild wave’s song’s a paean For the men that battle through. -- Henry Lawson, d. 1922
  19. Jokes

    Aurelia, Thanks for clarifying -- for a moment I thought these people were lost... JohnRGT PS Love the name "Aurelia"
  20. The Wally

    The Wally 118's esthetic freshness is reason enough to love her, but Wally have achieve so much more with this design. 1) The weight reduction for a vessel so well-fitted is unprecedented. 2) The triple turbine powerplant not only enables this vessel to cruise at ~80 knots, but is so quiet that one can actually carry-out a conversation at those speeds. (This is the highest top speed figure I've read for the 118. I've often read that she's never gone past 70 knots, missing her projected max by a significant %.) 3) Near zero vibration at speed. 4) Remarkably stable, with an E'S motion when she comes across waves at these high speeds. (That foredeck can be enjoyed underway!) The innovations needed to make all this possible must number in the hundreds. Once again, this Luca Bassani concern has brought about a new, almost unforseeable standard to the marine industry -- and it all started when Bassani decided to take a closer look at the inner workings of the industry behind one of his favorite pastimes. Regards, JohnRGT
  21. World's most ambitious privately funded projects

    It's unfortunate that a project that got so much privately funded press is failing. (I seem to remember the Chunnel being referred to as a success by John Stossel.) I appreciate the corrections, and like all of us, I hate the fact that this project is close to catastrophic failure. Charles - if you can, don't let anything pass! Regards, JohnRGT
  22. Jokes

    These aren’t jokes – just stories I've bumped into recently, and promptly filed under Contemporary Mysticism. 1) Apparently, the “entertainer” known as Madonna has just bought a home in a desolate part of Israel. She chose the property because of its proximity to the site Kabbalahs expect the Messiah to appear (reappear?) Setting aside the insanity of religion for a moment, what will the Messiah think if Madonna is the first human being he meets? (I wonder if she’l be wearing the cones for the occasion…) Why wouldn’t he just leave? 2) Poor Tom Cruise. He’s been having such a hard time accepting the last, pivotal tenet of Dianetics, that the most revered “minds” of this religion have been called in for intense, one-on-one sessions with the superstar. Where’s Tom stalling? He’s having a hard time accepting the premise that all one sees on Earth was set-up by aliens long, long ago. (In case you’re hoping they mean immigrants, I assure you: they’re talking ETs.) When a spine snaps in the presence of a Dianetics leader, does it make a sound? Regards, JohnRGT
  23. World's most ambitious privately funded projects

    The Chunnel was privately funded, if memory serves, and it's making so much money, there are plans to build a second set of tunnels. JohnRGT
  24. The Wally

    Hello Mates, Wally is an incredible company. They've had enormous impact on high-end yachts -- sailing vessels in particular. These days, many of the features Wally pioneered have started to filter down to more affordable designs. The 118 is a triple gas-turbine powered vessel. She needs an engineering staff to monitor the powerplant to avoid a meltdown. This boat was on display in San Fransisco's Musuem of Modern "Art" recently, and was used in a recent scifi movie. (I forget the name of the film.) Renowned venture capitalist Thomas Perkins is a known sailing nut. (Perkins has help launch concerns like Amazon, America Online, Brio Technology, Compaq, Electronic Arts, Flextronics, Genentech, Google, Hybritech, Intuit, Lotus Development, LSI Logic, Macromedia, Netscape, Quantum, Segway, Sun Microsystems, Tandem. (List from Wikipedia.)) He's about to take delivery of a vessel called "Maltese Falcon," whose rig is nothing short of a much needed revolution in megasailboats. (95% of all megasailboats are little more than motoryachts whose owner had enough in the way of good taste to disguise his abomination as a sailing vessel. (This is a critique of motoryacht aesthetics and culture -- not a dogmatic glorification of sail.)) What's more, this amazing vessel isn't a Mediterranean or Caribbean princess -- she'll easily sail just about anywhere, handling conditions that would paralyze most eye-catching vessels over 100ft. Other recently launched mammoth sailing vessels I find interesting (3): 1) This is the tallest single-masted vessel ever launched. If she were ever to come to NYMetro, the tip of her mast would hover ~ 80ft OVER the Verranzano Bridge roadway!! The owner, Joe Vittoria, is the man who brought Avis Car Rentals to the top of that industry. (How? Technology, of course... ) This wasn't a Freudian thing for this great man. As he has said any number of times since this project was announced, he could've shattered all sorts of records for far less money, effort and risk. The way the Marine Press went on and on about this project, you'd think that a sailing vessel's dimensions have zero impact on her performance. How EZ... Anyway, this thing sails!!, and not just on a reach. She'll go upwind like a lite Hinckley. 2) Take a look at Jim Clark's Athena, easily the most expensive megasailboat launched to date (~$50 million) (Clark is another great Silicon Valley mind. I'm not sure what role he played in the Netscape mess.): Not a pretty boat. Not an incredible sailing vessel either, though her sail-handling system would probably confuse LA CTU's Chloe (Imagine her tude if she were ever stumped...) I love her because she's so well fitted. This vessel is the pinnacle of tasteful opulence. Take a close look at that woodwork, ladies and gentlemen. When you've recovered from the level of craftsmanship (high even by this most respected yard's standards), realize that this Brazilian mahogany is no longer available for export. What little is left must be crafted in Brazil -- by law. (It's easy to assume that I'm lost in archaic yacht esthetics. All I can say is that I just don't find much balance or warmth in most modern yacht interiors. I see no reason to fuse form and function in a sterile way.) 3) Last, I offer a link to Bill Tripp's site, one of the most "like nothing else" minds in the field. The site is a mess, but if you can find the schematic for the 158 footer he designed for Wally, you'll see what speed looks like. (I provide a link to the 158 bellow, but it doesn't always work.): Tripp 158' (If you get there, click on "Sailplan and Arrangement." Make sure you're sitting...): Tripp's collaboration with Wally is a recent development. Theses two concerns should be coming up with any number of tradition-shattering designs in the near future. Happy sailing, Gang. (Please let me know if posts this size aren't cool, either by post or PM.) Regards, JohnRGT (Don't get me started on Ruf's RGT or what a thorn this great man has been in complacent Porsche's side... )
  25. The Best Restaurants

    The three NY Metro ice cream shops I'm in love with: 1) Il Laboratorio del Gelato: This was started by the driving force of Ciao Gelato, a small enterprise that took NYMetro by storm in the 80s and 90s. (They even mass-produced at one point, becoming a staple in the best food markets. As I undersrtand it, the label and flavor-rights have changed hands several times since the initial sale.) The texture they achieve, while allowing room for full flavor, is unbelievable. I'll list the flavors I don't care for, as it's far shorter than the list of well-dones: Dark chocolate -- it has a very long, odd aftertaste. Espresso -- past the first taste, the flavor is off. I don't appreciate the bits of espresso grounds, either. Don't skip the sorbets! 2) Cones: Great stuff. Very busy, and so they serve the freshest, softest, most intense stuff. (They're located on Bleeker, between 7th and 6th.) I'm nuts about their dark chocolate gelato, their mild Caramel gelato, and the somewhat off textured Hazelnut gelato. 3) Payard: I haven't been there in some time, but this well-established cafe/pastry shop offers good custard-based ice creams (It has that traditional, eggy feel that characterizes French custard ice creams.) (Though I've mentioned Payard twice now, I'm not endorsing everything they do.) I prefer ice cream over gelato, but I find NYMetro's ice cream somewhat lacking. Fortunately, the gelato boom has given us some intense, well-textured stuff. For those interested, home ice cream makers have come a long way over the last ten years or so. After that initial climb up the learning curve, you'll find making unforgetable ice cream at home to be EZ. Regards, JohnRGT