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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

The first Summer blockbuster on TV tonight


    Today Hollywood has two big seasons--Christmas and Summer.  Hollywood knows that theater attendance is concentrated around these two times so they release the films that they expect to have the biggest draws at these times.  But just 40 years ago Summer was seen as a slow time for movie goers as the Financial Times stated:
    "Back then June, July and August were the movie industry's low season. By day, everyone was on the beach; by night, eating, drinking, dancing and carrying on. Who wanted to go rectangle-eyed in the dark, watching movies? That was a winter thing." 
     That all changed when the movie Jaws became a monster Summer hit in 1975.  Now about 30% of the money films make each year occur in the 3 Summer months.  For fans of Jaws the AMC channel has the movie on this evening (July 3rd) at 7:45.  You Tube has the movie at this link.

P.S.  Guess we know it is officially Summer when we have the news talking about shark attacks like the ones in North Carolina this past week.

    You Tube video to take us into the holiday weekend.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Income mobility

   The NY Times recently had an article on income mobility for youth based on where you grew up.  Not surprisingly Howard County came out better than most counties in the US.  We were better than 73% of counties.  Much of that reality is probably related to the vision of Jim Rouse and his efforts to have diversity in Columbia.   This is not what happens naturally when development is left to most private developers.  We were fortunate to have once had a developer with a social conscious in addition to an interest in turning a profit.  As Columbia moves into the expanded development of downtown their is a need for someone to advocate for that social balance.  Right now it is not clear if there will be a force to effectively advocate for that same balance.  A Jim Rouse doesn't come along everyday .


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Time for Maryland to follow Arizona

       With the Supreme Court ruling upholding Arizona having a non partisan commission draw its election districts Maryland should now show itself to be a good government state and follow Arizona's lead.   We are one of the most gerrymandered states in the country.

      For many of us in Columbia this our Congressional district represented by John Sarbanes.  It has been called a "praying mantas" district because of its shape. Notice how thin lines are drawn between the separate parts of district.  How could there be any logic in the drawing of the district other than to insure a safe Congressional district for a Democrat.  And I say that as a Democrat who likes Sarbanes representing me in Congress.
      If the Republicans in Maryland are looking for a cause that many Democrats would support here is one good government cause for consideration.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Visual proof that rain gardens work

      My neighbors have recently had a contractor adding an addition to their home and the trucks have been using the access way shown below to get to the work site.  After one of our heavy rains last week they put up this barrier to try and stop the stormwater runoff.

     As you can see below the barrier was not enough to stop the soil from the work site below from ending up in the road and going into the storm drain.

The brown stream ran all the way down our street and into the storm drain and then I guess to Lake Elkhorn.

On the other side of my house our rain garden was able to absorb the heavy rain without having any soil entering the street.

     Once again to learn about how you can have the Columbia Association install a rain garden in your yard and pay for 3/4 of the cost listen to this video from John McCoy.   The final cost of the garden is reduced by another $250 in a check you can receive from Howard County for installing a rain garden.