Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This is Book Mountain, a public library in the town of Spijkenisse -- a suburb of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The architecture firm MVRDV designed the structure, which is a glass-enclosed stepped pyramid about seven stories high.

Inside the pyramid is a gigantic five-story library shaped like a long rectangle. Ramps lead from one level to the next, while a cafe is atop the highest level. Inside the "Book Mountain" are offices, community meeting rooms, and a computer center.

The floors of Book Mountain are brick, with a heating system underneath them to provide warmth in winter. The glass roof of Book Mountain has special glazing which prevent ultraviolet rays from damaging the books inside. The double-glazed roof also has a polarizing feature that allows the panes to become opaque in summer, helping to keep the building cool.

The "mountain" inside the structure is also made of brick, like the floors. The shelves are double-high: Lower shelves provide books accessible by patrons, which the upper shelves which cannot be reached are used for storing archival material, reference works, and the like.

Book Mountain was built as part of a public housing development. With illiteracy among the poor as high as 10 percent, the city decided that connecting poor residents with the tools they need to improve their lives -- books, magazines, newspapers, a technology center, free meeting space -- was the only way to combat poverty.

I first saw Aqualad in an Aquaman back-up story in a comic book I cannot recall. I was probably 12 or 13. He was going after drug smugglers in New Orleans, and someone tried to throw a pot of boiling water on him. Naturally, it didn't hurt him (he is pretty immune to extremes of hot and cold), but it did dissolve his shirt for reasons which were unclear.

I loved him. He was hot.

Of course, DC Comics killed him off in 2010...

My Christmas tree is up, and decorated. Now, if someone will give me presents for under the tree...

Christmas tree - my house 2016
I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here. The article I wrote or assisted with is in bold.
Did You Know ... that after 30 years inventing and manufacturing farm equipment and milling machines, Louis Gathmann abandoned his trade to develop coastal defense howitzers and fuses for high-explosive ordnance?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sal Mineo in Fortune and Men's Eyes in 1969. He's raping a young Don Johnson.

The film is based on a 1965 play by John Herbert. In 1947, a 21-year-old Herbert was imprisoned in a juvenile prison in Canada for four months for wearing drag. During this time, he witnessed numerous rapes and saw how sexual slavery played a significant role in the prison. Herbert wrote a play based on his experiences in 1965. He created the role of Queenie based on himself.

The play is about Smitty, a 17-year-old heterosexual who is imprisoned for possession of marijuana. Smitty's cellmates are Queenie, a drag queen; Rocky, a hard-core felon; and Mona, a 20-something gay man whom Rocky regularly fucks. Smitty witnesses the brutality of prison life as new prisoners are raped and the bullies in prison trade and barter the sexual favors of weaker, effeminate men. When one man complains, the guards beat him mercilessly. Rocky finds Smitty attractive, and comes on to him repeatedly, each time more strongly. Rocky pledges to protect Smitty if Smitty puts out. Queenie is bitter that Rocky's attentions have turned to Smitty, and Mona tries to comfor Smitty by reciting poetry. Eventually, Rocky rapes Smitty off-stage. Queenie then goads Smitty into beating Rocky, and Rocky is defeated. Rocky turns his sexual attentions to Queenie, who rejects him. A guard breaks up the fight and takes Queenie off to be whipped. Smitty then propositions Mona, who also turns him down: "You're looking for a girl, not for me." Smitty takes this in stride. The play closes as Smitty listens to Queenie's moans as he's brutally whipped, and Smitty announces to the audience that he's seizing power in the prison.

Herbert couldn't get the play produced in Canada. A theater critic sent the play to a friend in New York City. It fell into the hands of Dustin Hoffman, who workshopped the play at the New York Actors Studio in 1966. (Hoffman Rocky, and Jon Voight played Smitty.) The play premiered off-Broadway at the Actors Playhouse on February 23, 1967, and ran for a year. A road version played in Chicago, San Francisco, Montreal, and Toronto.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Sal Mineo made his film debut in 1955, in Rebel Without A Cause. But his career was pretty much over by 1960 after he made Exodus. He made just three films in the 1960s, most of them bit parts: The Longest Day (1962), as a Native American in Cheyenne Autumn (1964), Uriah the prophet in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)... His only starring role was in the slasher film Who Killed Teddy Bear (1967), which bombed.

To resurrect his career, Mineo decided to stage Fortune and Men's Eyes in 1969 at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles. Mineo made several changes, including putting Smitty's rape on screen and having Smitty masturbate to Queenie's whipping at the end. Mineo directed and played the role of Rocky, while Don Johnson played Smitty. Michael Greer played Queenie.

Mineo's production was so well-received that the play was turned into a film. Herbert wrote the screenplay, for which he made even more substantial changes. It largely bombed.

I spent most of yesterday and today cleaning leaves out of my back yard. Just my back yard. Thing is, they're wet. And weigh a fucking ton. And are hard to get moving with my leaf blower, because they are so wet. I'd never cleaned leaves out of my back yard yet this fall, so every damned leaf in the greater Cleveland area was on my grass and driveway.

Tomorrow, I work on the front yard. That'll be easier, because I've cleaned leaves off the front yard already twice. Still....

Hunting butterflies.

I don't think he's hurting for dates. Or love.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mister Tawky Tawny is an anthropomorphic tiger who appears in books published by DC Comics. He's a supporting character in Captain Marvel stories, although he's appeared in other comics on rare occasions. He was created by writer Otto Binder and penciller C.C. Beck and made his first apperance in Captain Marvel Adventures #79 (December 1947), published by Fawcett Comics.

The character was originally introduced merely as "Mr. Tawny", a humanoid talking tiger who travels from India to the United States. Quite naturally, a tiger in New York City causes panic, and Captain Marvel intervened. Once he realized that Mr. Tawny was friendly, Captain Marvel introduced the tiger to society and got him a job as a tour guide at a local museum. Mr. Tawny made his second appearance in Captain Marvel Adventures #82 (March 1948). Tawny revealed that he had been a normal tiger until he was accused of killing a man. A local hermit gave Tawny a serum that gave him the ability to speak and anthropomorphic form. But no longer fitting in as a real tiger, he left India. In Captain Marvel Adventures #90 (November 1948), Fawcett Comics introduced a contest asking readers to give Mr. Tawny a first name. Mary Garrisi and Pat Laughlin of Detroit, Michigan, won the contest with their submission, "Tawky" (a deliberate misspelling of "talky"). Mr. Tawny's first name was revealed in Captain Marvel Adventures #96 (May 1949).

Tawky Tawny proved highly popular (all talking animals were popular in the 1940s and 1950s), and became a recurring character in Captain Marvel comics. He was depicted as both Captain Marvel's and Billy Batson's best friend. Captain Marvel Adventures ceased publication in 1953. Binder and Beck attempted to launch a Tawky Tawny newspaper comic strip, but it failed.

Fawcett Comics ceased publication of all its superhero comics in 1953. DC Comics had filed suit in 1941 over Captain Marvel's similarity to Superman. The case, National Comics Publications v. Fawcett Publications, went to trial in 1948. The trial court held Fawcett held that even though Captain Marvel was different from Superman, Fawcett had instructed its pencillers to deliberately steal from Superman comics. Fawcett appealed, but the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Fawcett in 1951. By this time, superhero comic book sales had dropped significantly. Fawcett decided to cancel all its superhero books (thinking that this genre was dead) in 1953. In 1972, DC Comics licensed all of Fawcett Comics' characters and began publishing new Captain Marvel stories. Tawky Tawny appeared 12 times, beginning with Shazam! #1 (February 1973) and ending with Shazam! #32 (December 1977). Shazam! #35 (June 1978) was the last issue of the series. Captain Marvel disappeared from DC Comics publications after the cancellation of the book. DC Comics found it too expensive to pay the per-use royalty fee to Fawcett. But DC Comics very much wanted access to the characters, so in 1980 it purchased Fawcett's copyrights outright.

No Captain Marvel characters appeared after the purchase for several years. In 1985, DC Comics decided to reboot its entire comic book universe in a crossover limited series story line known as "Crisis on Infinite Earths". This story line rebooted the entire Captain Marvel universe, and Tawky Tawny was written out of existence.

DC Comics rebooted their comic universe again in 1994 in a crossover storyline, "Zero Hour: Crisis in Time". As part of the reboot, writer Jerry Ordway and penciller Peter Krause introduced a new version of Tawky Tawny in the graphic novel The Power of Shazam! A comic book of the same name began publication in 1995. Tawky Tawny makes his first appearance in The Power of Shazam! #4 (June 1995) as a near-lifesize cartoonish anthropomorphic tiger doll owned by Mary Batson (and, apparently ten million other kids). Black Adam hides part of the scarab necklace which gives him his powers in the doll. Lord Satanus, who created the necklace, uses the necklace to imbue the doll with the power to transform into a six-foot tall anthropomorphic tiger. He forces a pooka (a Celtic fairy) into the doll. This pooka takes on the form of a tiger based on the doll which it found itself inhabiting. Satanus only allowed Billy Batson, Mary Batson, and Uncle Dudley to see Tawny as a six-foot, sentient tiger; everyone else merely saw the doll. Satanus hoped that the pooka would help the Marvels defeat his sister, Blaze. But Tawky Tawny proved more of a hero than Satanus intended, and helped the Marvels in myriad other ways as well. In The Power of Shazam! #11 (January 1996), the superhero Ibis the Invincible gave Tawky Tawny permanent life.

Tawky Tawny only appeared rarely and sporadically in DC Comics stories for the next decade. DC Comics decided to reboot its comic book universe YET AGAIN in 2005 and 2006 in the crossover storyline "Infinite Crisis". 52 was a year-long limited series comic book, published weekly for one year, which chronicled the events that took place in the DC Comics universe in the year after the end of "Infinite Crisis". Tawky Tawny appeared in 52 #16 (August 23, 2006), which indicated that he'd survived the changes in the DC Comics universe which had occurred in "Infinite Crisis". But his origin and powers weren't defined in this cameo. Tawny made his first substantial post-"Infinite Crisis" appearance in The Trials of Shazam! #10 (January 2008). This limited series comic had the wizard Shazam dying, and Billy Batson taking his place. Freddy Freeman demanded that he be named the new Captain Marvel, but he was required to undergo a series of tests to do so. Competing against him was Sabina, a witch and "fury" who was a descendant of Merlin. Tawky Tawny helps Freddy locate the god Mercury. During the battle with Sabina, Tawny is shown to have the power to transform into a giant sabre-toothed tiger.

DC Comics rebooted its comic book universe YET AGAIN in 2008 with the crossover storyline "Final Crisis". In Final Crisis #6 (January 2009), Tawky Tawny is depicted as an advisor to Freddy Freeman. Tawny joins Freddy in his battle against Mistress Marvel (the now-evil Mary Marvel), and then assists the All-Star Squadron when the Gods of Apokolips invade Earth. Tawky Tawny faces off against the demi-god Kalibak and his Tigermen. Although Kalibak knocks Tawky unconscious, Tawky attacks him again and slays Kalibak. This gives Tawky Tawny leadership of the Tigermen.

Tawny continued to appear as a recurring character in the "Shazam!" backup stories published in Justice League Vol. 2. These stories essentially reboot the Captain Marvel universe, given the DC Comics reboot which concluded in 2008. Suddenly, Tawky Tawny is a radically different character. He is now depicted as a normal tiger at a zoo in Philadelphia. He made a cameo appearance in issue #8 (June 2012) in a photograph, and appeared as a normal tiger whom Billy visits at the zoo in issue #10 (August 2012). In issue #21 (August 2013), Captain Marvel (now known as Shazam) realizes he can give anyone a portion of his power. He transforms the tiger into a giant sabre-toothed cat during a battle with Black Adam. The process goes awry, however, and the tiger no longer can resume its normal form. Instead, it transforms into Tawky Tawny, an anthropomorphic tiger.

Several alternative versions of Tawky Tawny also exist.

In 2007, Jeff Smith wrote and pencilled the limited series Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil. Set in the past, early in Captain Marvel's career, this limited series presented an alternative origin story for Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family -- essentially updating it for modern readers. In these stories, Tawky Tawny is an ifrit (an Arabian spirit) who takes on one of two disguises: A homeless man who is a friend of the orphan Billy Batson, and a realistic but talking (but not anthropomorphic) tiger who mentors Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel.

In 2008, Mike Kunkel wrote and pencilled a cartoonish children's comic book, Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!. Drawing on Jeff Smith's version of the characters, this version of Captain Marvel (and Tawky Tawny) was silly and funny. Although still an ifrit, Kunkel re-imagined Tawky Tawny as a shapeshifting servant of the wizard Shazam. When he is magically fixed in his humanoid tiger form, he leaves Shazam and comes to live with the Marvels.

In 2011, DC Comics rebooted its comic book universe YET AGAIN in the "Flashpoint" storyline. Barry Allen, The Flash, goes back in time and stops Professor Zoom from killing his mother. This completely alters the future. In the Flashpoint future, the orphan Pedro Peña -- one of five living in a foster home -- has a pet tiger he has named "Tawky Tawny". The other orphans are Eugene Choi, Mary Batson, Freddy Freeman, Billy Batson, and Darla Dudley. When the five say the word "Shazam" all together, they combine to form the superhero Captain Thunder. The tiger is actually one of the last "great Khandaq striped tigers", given to the group by the wizard Shazam. As a magical animal, the tiger is perceived as a housecat by everyone but the five children (who see him as a normal tiger). The magic word "shazam" can also transform Tawky Tawny into an armored giant sabre-toothed cat. Although the Flashpoint future was mostly undone, some small changes were wrought in the permanent timeline. As depicted in stories in Justice League Vol. 2, Pedro, Eugene, and Darla were still Billy, Mary, and Freddy's foster-siblings, although they had no superpowers or role in the Marvel Family.

I knew a boy in college who had a body like this.  He was terribly afraid of being seen shirtless, although I have no idea why. I guess he didn't like being seen as a sex object or something.

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here. The article I wrote or assisted with is in bold.
Did You Know ... that Florida Avenue in Washington, D.C., was originally named Boundary Street because it formed the northern boundary of the Federal City under the 1791 L'Enfant Plan?
I had a great Thanksgiving!

My friend Nancy hosted. I contributed peas-and-pearl-onions in a bechamel sauce, and cocktail meatballs as an appetizer.

carving a Thanksiving turkey
Those are magnificent pecs on a twink.

Monday, November 21, 2016

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here. The article I wrote or assisted with is in bold.
Did You Know ... that the resting place of the body of Lincoln assassination co-conspirator Lewis Powell is not clear, but that his skull lies in Geneva Cemetery about 15 miles northeast of Orlando, Florida?
I do like The Flash.

Nice blond twink with nice long legs and good shoulders.

Think he takes the beats into the shower with him??

Sunday, November 20, 2016


YAY!!! The "Library Journal Index of Public Library Service" has rated the Cleveland Public Library as a 5-star library!!

The LJ Index compares same-sized public libraries with their peers based on four measures: circulation, library visits, program attendance, and public Internet computer use.

There are 7,349 public libraries in the United States, but just 260 have received three, four, or five Stars from the LJ Index.

Ohio has more 5-star libraries (25) than any other state except New York (35). Illiniois is second with 19. Ten states have none.
"Yes" to Kit Harrington. Every day.

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here. The article I wrote or assisted with is in bold.
Did You Know ... that future Georgetown mayor Thomas Corcoran grew wealthy making shoes for students at nearby Georgetown College, becoming one of the District of Columbia's wealthiest men and first philanthropists?
When writing about architectural history, I find myself using a very limited vocabulary. Although there are a wide range of architectural terms, there aren't many synonyms for "building". I find that "building" and "structure" are about the limit. "Edifice" sounds pretentious.

Trump completely misunderstands theater.

Theater is radical. Theater is meant to shock. Theater is not meant to be comforting.

Theater is not safe.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Gorgeous. He was helping his grandfather get around. What a nice young man...

gorgeous 01

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I refuse to post these to the front page of Wikipedia any more. But I will post them here. The article I wrote or assisted with is in bold.
Did You Know ... that Brigadier General Joseph Gerhardt was once tried for murder for killing a man when a mob attacked his beer garden, but later served on the jury trying John Surratt for conspiracy to assassinate President Lincoln?

I know I took off a lot of time for the election, and then got really sad afterward. Ah well...

Back to blogging.