Sunday, July 31, 2016

"Gone": the long history of Felix Vail airs on ABC 20-20


On Friday, July 29, ABC 20-20 aired the history of Felix Vail, who would be caught for murders committed over 50 years ago, starting in 1962 in Louisiana.

USA Today has a supplementary detailed history of the episode, called “Gone”, which re-aired as a bonus Jan. 30.  (Maybe it should be "Gone, Baby Gone".)

Vail apparently didn’t want wives to keep actually bearing him children whom he would have to support.


The story was accelerated when a home in Mississippi was sold and the new female owner found evidence left behind in an attic.


This reminds me of Robert Durst and his “Killed them all, of course”.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dateline's "Missing Marie" turns out to be domestic, not about government black ops


On July 1, NBC Dateline aired “Missing Marie”, a bizarre case about a defense worker Marie Singleton in southern California who was secretly working for the CIA also, back in 1994, and disappeared (on Nov. 11).   also here.

The killer would turn out to be her own husband, for motives unrelated to her work. He was arrested as a fugitive in Arizona in 2008, and convicted and sentenced in early 2012 (CBS LA story).



The case stands in comparison to 2008 slayings of Powell and Green, still unsolved, possibly related to defense work.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

CNN: "Black, White and Blue: America, 2016"


CNN’s special “Black, White and Blue: America 2016” town hall aired Wednesday night July 13, hosted by Don Lemon (head shaved).  Apparently it was held in Dallas.  The link is here.

Family members of the officers spoke. But there was also the idea of hiring more young minority men into police departments, men with close personal ties to the poorest or most troubled communities, bringing power back to the people in the communities.  Muriel Bowser has proposed such a program with an academy (integrated with UDC) for Washington DC.



The special today has been overridden by the truck attack in Nice, France.  I was sitting in a hotel bar (in Washington DC), having supper before going to a film festival screening, when (right after I ordered food) the CNN report broke and I watched the entire attack live.  Waiters and hosts didn’t even realize what was going on. When I got to the screening at Cato Institute, few people really knew yet, until they looked at their phones.

Read David Brooks, "Are we on the path to national ruin?"


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

"Mistresses" episode "Lean In" covers issues ranging from transgender relationships to book contracts


The ABC series “Mistresses”, set in modern day LA,  may have been inspired by “Four Friends” in the 80s. I picked up the Season 5, Episode 5 episode “Lean In” on July 4. The episode
  (directed by Constantin Markris) covered some interesting issues.

Sex therapist Karen Kim (Yunjim Kim) pitches ideas for her newest book to an agent (who pressures her) over lunch, and later says authors can’t get anywhere without literary agents accepting them.  That ignores the whole self-publishing world, which must not count.

In the mean time, April (Rochelle Aytes) has met Michael, without knowing he is a female-to-male transgender (played vy real TS Ian Harvie), complete with beard, at work.  Michael thinks he has a “connection” with her. But her boyfriend gets jealous, enough to knock out Michael, before either of them “know”.  At the end, there is a confrontation where  April says she was never interested in Michael and “I would never date a trans person.” Michael says, get out of my house.

Was it wrong for April to say this?  To even feel this way?  What are the  "political" implications?


There are some great lines.  “In order to have your soul compromised, you have to have one.” Also, “you have your books to write but I have my songs.”

Friday, July 01, 2016

"The Tech Boom" on "CNN: The Eighties" (good, no pre-emption this time)


CNN finally learned its lesson and did not pre-empt “TheEighties” last night, as it aired “The Tech Boom”. 

I bought my first TRS-80 in December 1981 and Okidata dot-matrix printer.  I had an ATT 6300 in 1985 (and even a laser printer), and an AST Research at the start of 1989.   But I didn’t have email and Internet until mid 1994.   I started “publishing” in 1996.  I guess CNN will do a series “The 90s”, which would cover “don’t ask don’t tell”.

A smaller version of what would become the Internet in 1992 did exist then, and tech shows made a lot about interactivity in closed environments. 

Executives had a hard time digesting the idea that people would want personal computers, until the early 80s.  I wanted to use them for writing.  The episode showed the young Bill Gates selling the idea to IBM.  Gates almost did drop out of college in time to do this.  The episode also covered the growth of Apple, however briefly compare to recent films on Steve Jobs.

The episode also present the earliest cell phones, which were big and clunky. I didn’t have one until 1998 and didn’t use them much until 2002.


The episode also documented the Challenger explosion in January 1986, which I remember hearing about at work well.

Youtube channel is here