This documentary on netflix streaming explores the United States addiction to Oil. The movie begins with showing how oil made some people very rich. Similar to the recent boom that we have in technology (i am referring to the stock of Google, Amazon, Netflix, etc.), there was a big boom in oil. In the later half of the 18th century John D. Rockefeller took advantage of this oil boom. He founded The Standard Oil Company. He did whatever it took to grow his company. He would create secret ventures with vendors to control the competition. For example, he would work with freight companies to make them charge higher prices on his oil competitors. As Standard Oil grew bigger, they would acquire smaller oil companies. This documentary shows Rockefeller’s large support for prohibition. Ethanol is created using alcohol and Rockefeller saw this as a threat to his oil empire.
Oil puts us at the mercy of other countries. Many of our oil reserves are coming from the mideast. We spend more money protecting our mideast oil interests than the oil itself. The US puts the military out in these oil fields to protect the oil reserves. Recently, to help save money the United States started drilling into oil reserves domestically. We get oil through a process called fracking. In the process we drill deep down into the earth. We use high pressure water to release gas from the rocks. We lose lots of water, increase the potential to release of carcinogens in the ground water, and increase potential for earthquakes.
In China it is very difficult to get a vehicle. There is a lottery and then you have to bid a large sum of money just to register a vehicle. China is trying to curb the amount of cars on the road due to recent air pollution. Oil causes more air pollution than many other types of alternative fuels. Brazil on the other hand, has experienced economic improvement by using biomass fuel. They use corn fields and all other types of unused biomass to fuel their vehicles.
The United States is taking a stand on the matter. President Obama is taking a stand by introducing the Open Fuel Standard Act. By 2017, 95% of the vehicles are expected to run on non-petroleum based fuels. The irony is that many of our cars do currently run on alternative fuels, but most people don’t even know it. For the cars that do not have the option, they can be fixed for under $500. Some vehicles can run on alternative fuels with a simple software update to the automobile’s computer system. You can find out which gas stations provide alternative fuels at the energy website. Overall, a great documentary with great information.
In this audio book memoir, Brent Schlender gives us an account of the person Steve Jobs was. Schlender was a long time journalist who focused on technology. He interviewed Steve Jobs many times. The first time Schlender interviewed Steve Jobs, he felt like he was being interviewed. Steve Jobs was a very confident individual that asked others many questions. Additionally, he liked to tell people what they should do in their personal matters.
Steve Jobs was born in 1955. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. When interviewed he said it never bothered him that he was adopted. Steve Jobs was a brilliant student. The school had recommended that he skips two grades based on exam scores. His parents agreed to let him skip one grade. In high school he met Steve Wozniak. Wozniak liked to build computer circuits. Jobs would attend Reed college after high school. He would drop out after a semester, but kept attending classes here and there. Steve told Schlender that he wasn’t certain what he wanted to do. Reed college was not cheap and he didn’t want his parents wasting money on college tuition.
Steve Jobs would get one of his first jobs at Atari. He showed them a board that Wozniak created and Atari hired Steve. Atari thought Steve created the board. Steve succeeded at Atari. He worked on special projects for Nolan Bushnell, to earn enough money to take a spiritual enlightenment trip to India. After the trip to India, Steve Jobs got into meditation and psychedelic drugs. During interviews he spoke about the use of LSD in opening up his creative side. I am not advising the illegal use of psychedlic drugs. I am repeating what Steve Jobs thought about them.
Bushnell offered Steve Jobs $700 to help him make circuit boards for a new Atari game. Jobs had to reach out to Wozniak for help and offered to go 50/50 with him ($350). Bushnell was so pleased with the work that he gave Steve Jobs an additional $5K. Jobs still only gave Wozniak $350. This financial inequality was the way of Steve Jobs and would follow him for the rest of his career.
The Apple I was built in Jobs garage by Wozniak. It was Steve Jobs that was working on selling the product. They were able to produce more systems because they were funded by an Intel employee. They achieved greater success when they unveiled the Apple II, also created by Wozniak, except for the unique case the system was in. To grow the company further, Jobs recruited John Sculley from Pepsi to serve as CEO. Steve Jobs was a difficult person to work with. Two years after Scully became CEO, Scully and the board decided to remove Steve Jobs from the company that he started. Steve Jobs was devastated and looked for a way to come back.
In 1985, Steve Jobs founded NeXT computer. His expenses in the new venture were through the roof, as he was trying to depict perfection. Perfection from the building that they worked in to the computer itself. The original $7 million invested in the new venture was depleted quickly. Ross Perot stepped in to bail Steve Jobs out. NeXT achieved success when the company fully transitioned into Software development. They released WebObjects.
In 1986, Steve Jobs bought a company which he later renamed Pixar. In the mid-90s Pixar studios was utilizing a new graphics technology that would allow the use of cartoon rendering mixed with realistic depictions. In partnership with Disney, Pixar released some great movies that made the company a significant amount of money. The first two enormous hits were Toy Story (1995) and A Bug’s Life (1998).
In 1997, Apple purchased NeXT. In the deal, Steve Jobs once again was an employee of Apple. Shortly thereafter, he got his CEO position back.
In the late 90s, Shawn Fanning had achieved great popularity by introducing us to Napster. It was peer-to-peer software that allowed users to download music from other users. Steve Jobs did not like the idea that people were restricted to their computers to listen to MP3s. Technically, at the time it was possible to store MP3s on a CD and listen to a portable CD player. But Steve Jobs had a revolutionary idea in mind. He learned that a technology came out that could store 2GBs on a mere 2 inches. In 2001, this led him to the creation of the iPod. It was a device that used the small hard drive to create a small portable mp3 player. It had a single track wheel that could be used to browse through the stored songs. It was marketed so well, that everyone had to have it. Steve Jobs utilized WebObjects to create the iTunes store. He revolutionized the sale of MP3s. Previously, people bought a CD for about $15 which may have had give or take 15 tracks. He worked out deals with record labels that would allow people to buy only the track they wanted at 99 cents.
The later iPod models had the ability to look at photos and watch videos. Steve Jobs wanted 1) for people to have the ability to purchase items in the iTunes store directly on their device and 2) to have access to the internet at all times to connect to photos and videos. In 2004, the creation of the iPhone had begun. They stalled on the project a bit because Steve Jobs wanted the technology to be out there for the phone to work the way he wanted. In 2007, Apple had an exclusive agreement with AT&T to sell the iPhone. With that exclusive agreement Steve Jobs managed to get many financial benefits. A nice percentage of sales, part of all new contract agreements, only Apple can set the price on the phone, etc.
In 2004, Steve Jobs had successful treatment for his pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, it would come back and he would succumb to it on October 5th, 2011. The book shows Steve Jobs as an interesting character that may be hard to deal with, but a creative genius. He found a great company. When ousted he founded the best animation studio Hollywood has. Then he found a computer company which was failing. Then he turned that around to a successful software company that built the software to create iTunes. He revolutionized the way we listen to and buy music. Then, he went ahead and revolutionized the way we use our cell phones. At one point Apple’s computers weren’t really selling. Steve Jobs changed the look , utilized a linux based operating system, and now Apple systems are used by most creative thinkers. He definitely didn’t do everything himself. But he was creative and knew how to spot it in others. He always expected and returned perfection in his products. This book was far more in-depth than any Steve Jobs based movie or special that I have seen.
At the date of this post this is streaming on Netflix. Spoiler Alert…Don’t read if you want to watch Dear Zachery before I write about it. I stumbled upon this documentary on Netflix after positive reviews on the web. Dear Zachery is a documentary made by film maker Kurt Kuenne. From a young age, Kurt created movies with childhood friend Andrew Bagby. Andrew was a funny individual that amassed many friends. His schooling had led him to become a doctor. We see him in his final years giving a best man speech on a video. Andrew became engaged himself, but the engagement came to an end. Friends were commenting that he wasn’t the same after the engagement ended.
Andrew managed to meet someone else. Early on friends had noticed that the new love was a little strange. They described her as someone who was very needy. Moreover, she had about 13 years on Andrew. After some time, Andrew knew that being with Shirley Turner (the one he met) was not going to work out. She was very jealous and needy. Andrew broke up with her and put her on a plane to go back to Iowa. Unfortunately, when Shirley got home she decided to drive 16 hours to Latrobe, PA to see Andrew again. Andrew told his friend what was going on. The friend’s advice was, if someone drove 16 hours and is in the front door, than you should go out the back door. Andrew did not take the advice, was shot 5 times, and left for dead. The police had many reasons to believe Shirley was guilty. This included evidence of a recent gun purchase and cell phone records of her making calls in different cities. After some lieing to the cops, she decided to flee to Canada.
Shirley would be put on trial and found guilty of Andrew’s murder. But there was another surprise. She was pregnant with Andrew’s baby. After labor and during trial, Kathleen and David Bagby (Andrew’s parents), would bring baby Zachery to prison to see his mom. Shirley’s therapist, Dr. Doucet, posted her $75K bail. At that point, Shirley would come up with different excuses for Zachery not to see his grandparents. The Bagby’s were angered by this, as well as Shirley being allowed to post bail.
In July 2003, Shirley met another man. They dated until he found out that she was in the middle of a trial for killing a man. When he tried to break it off, she left him about 200 voicemails. The next month, she took drugged up herself and baby Zachery, tied Zachery to her body and committed murder-suicide via ocean drowning.
The documentary is as unique as the story. Kurt interviews many people to set up a video memoir of Andrew for Zachery. In the process, he also documents the trial and the state of child custody. The documentary fails to be a memoir for Zachery because Zachery dies. But it helps Kathleen and David cope with their loss. After the original devastation of their son’s death and then their grandson’s death, the documentary ends up showing how loved Kathleen and David are by the extended Bagby family. This truly is a great documentary and my first time watching a documentary that I wished was actually fiction.
This documentary is on Netflix streaming as of today’s date. It is about former Star Trek actor George Takei. He broke into Hollywood by playing a Japanese characters with accents on television shows. He would land roles among popular actors like Frank Sinatra, Richard Burton, and James Caan. The most important role he would land is Sulu on Star Trek.
The documentary recounts the attack on Pearl Harbor. After the attack, Japanese-Americans were forced to go into interment camps. This lasted from 1942 to 1946 and was authorized by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Within days of the attack, racist signs against the Japanese were seen everywhere. Newspapers and state politicians made it clear that they wanted the Japanese to leave as well. Later on in Life, Takei became a politician. He led those affect by interment camps to get a restitution payment from the Reagan administration.
On a happier note, George Takei is hysterical. He is a repeat client on the Howard Stern show. He is also a homosexual and a huge gay activist. In response to Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay Bill”, he puts together the funniest video. Here is that video, George Takei video. Fortunately, the bill did not pass. Takei credits coming out of the closet publicly to Arnold Schwarzenegger. When Arnold was running for government, he talked about some of his best friends being gay. After getting into office he vetoed the marriage equality bill. This infuriated Takei and led him to start publicly supporting homosexuality.
Takei has millions of Facebook and Twitter followers. He is very smart and funny. His fans love his one liners. In the documentary he tells his husband Brad (Altman) Takei, as well as Will Wheaton that they put on some weight. He doesn’t seem very sensitive to other people’s feelings, but he is loved by millions.
In this depiction of Disney, James Stewart gives us an insider’s guide to the management of the company. In 1984, Roy Disney (Walt’s nephew) brought in Michael Eisner to help revive the Walt Disney brand. In the beginning, Eisner is depicted as a humble individual who is very thankful for the opportunity that Roy Disney has given him. He tells Roy that at any time he doesn’t think that Eisner himself is doing a good job, Eisner will leave.
That would be the last time in this book that Eisner appeared humble. His 1984 salary was negotiated at $750,000, plus an additional $750,000 as a sign-on bonus, and options on 2 million Disney shares. Ironically, Eisner was very frugal with business decisions. Perhaps, he needed to make sure Disney had plenty of cash available to pay his salary. Who Framed Roger Rabbit was using new technology mixing cartoons and humans. Robert Zemeckis led the budget of the film. However, Michael Eisner was trying to cut expenses as much as possible during the filming. Fortunately, the movie was a huge success.
Jeffrey Katzenberg was Michael Eisner’s right hand man. He was brilliant and did things when told. Katzenberg believed he would eventually succeed Frank Wells as the President of the company. In 1994, Frank Wells died in a helicopter accident. Eisner did not appoint Katzenberg to the position of President. Katzenberg left Disney and started Dreamworks with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen. Michael Eisner hired his friend, Michael Ovitz for this role. The book goes into detail about how they went on ski trips together, spent the holidays together. 14 months later Ovitz would be forced out of the company. Ovitz was very angry with the way Eisner had backstabbed him. But Ovitz also managed to leave the company with a $38 million severance payout and stock options worth $100 million at the time.
Disney had acquired ABC television. They had caught great success when they created ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’. The show’s popularity had a good run. A few years later, a new writer from Las Vegas had pitched the show CSI to ABC. Michael Eisner did not want to pick it up. Eventually, CBS would acquire CSI. Unfortunately, CSI ran the same prime time slot as ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ and CSI would get the better ratings. In early 2005, Roy Disney had successfully went after Michael Eisner to get him to leave his position.
This book shows us the greed that goes on in the board room of America’s most well known children’s entertainment brand. I found it interesting that the theme parks themselves were hardly mentioned. The only mention was the failure of Euro Disney under Michael Eisner. It looks like Disney’s production studio is much more important to the success the company. In this book Michael Eisner definitely plays the villain. But he also was the CEO of the company for over 20 years and that was during the time that Disney had achieved success.
Dawg Fight is a documentary that is currently on Netflix Streaming. It is about bare knuckle fighters in the poor suburbs outside of the Miami area. Dada 5000 is promoting these bare knuckle fights in the neighborhood. These fights are extremely dangerous and difficult to watch. West Perrine is a neighborhood that has unemployment rates 1/3 higher than the national average. Fighting is a way for some of these individuals to make money. This small town is plagued with high murder rates. Ironically, fighting is the safer way for some of the residents to settle their differences.
Dada 5000 became interested in this profession because he grew up within blocks of Kimbo Slice. Dawg Fight shows a clip of Dada 5000 losing a bare knuckle match to Kimbo Slice. After touring as Kimbo Slice’s body guard, he comes back to the hood to create a 12′ X 12′ ring in his backyard. The fights are illegal, but cops are accepting of it. They accept the fighting because they know the town will be at the fight, so the residents won’t be getting involved in worst things during that time. The fights are set up by using cheap tarp to cover the fences and there is a VIP area which is created using caution tape. They charge people $20 to see the fight. The residents that can’t afford to pay, climb up trees and watch. Dawg Fight gives you a background of each fighter. The sad truth is that all of them were locked up in prison. Training for a violent fight is there way to stay away from trouble.
Dawg Fight introduces us to two individuals that end up fighting each other. Chauncey is a tough fighter, that the older women believe no one should be messing with. Tree is a young contender that thinks he may have what it takes to beat Chauncey. After a great battle, Chauncey does end up with the win. Days later Chauncey gets into a dispute with his girlfriend’s brother. He ends up shot in the back of the head and is taken to the hospital on life support. Days later they pull the plug on him. Tree, ends up getting tasered by the police and dies from injuries sustained. Unfortunately, this is a real documentary and those were real people.
Other graphic scenes include fighters breaking their wrist, losing teeth, getting cut up badly, and even being knocked out unconscious. These men don’t have appropriate medical care at the fights. Many of them heal themselves because they can’t afford to see a doctor. Dada 5000 doesn’t earn much of a profit, as he pays out the fighters. The documentary concludes with Dada 5000 being scouted. He trains for a fight at the nearby Hard Rock Seminole Casino. His frightening opponent is a fighter named Cedric. Dada 5000 wins the fight and based on the internet is currently 2-0 as an MMA fighter.
Truly a great document with graphic fight scenes. It makes you realize that there are people out there that are really struggling. West Perrine is a difficult neighborhood to grow up in and I want to see those individuals succeed without violence and bare knuckle fighting.
Once again, a Scribd Audio Book. Neil Patrick Harris is brilliant. He talks about his life as an actor. He speaks in the third person, as he talks to himself about himself. This book is literally at least 90% about him being an actor.
He starts the book out about talking about giving a great monologue in a school play. His confidence boosting monologue is what he attributes to the great lesson leading to his career. His first big break as Doogie Howser, MD was actually by luck. It was his agent’s assistant’s boyfriend or something similar that landed him the interview. I say the interview and not the gig because Neil Patrick Harris earned that role. If you watched the show you would surely agree.
Neil Patrick Harris began the show at the age of 16 and it lasted until he was 20. He talks about episodes where he had to play the doctor that delivered the baby. After the show had come to a conclusion, NPH did not have any great gigs lined up. He did what most actors did in their 20s. Neil Patrick Harris hit the Hollywood club scene. The Roxy and Viper Room at least one night of the week. In this book he confirmed that Shannen Doherty was a handful and loved getting into fights. In past business relationships that he made, he was able to get spots on TV shows and made for TV movies.
In 2004, he caught a big break by playing himself on the blockbuster movie, ‘Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle’. However, himself in this movie, was depicted as a drug user who was desperately in search of a strip club. In a great scene he is snorting cocaine off a strippers behind, while traveling on top of a stolen vehicle. He would find great fortune in 2005, by playing the role of Barney Stinson in ‘How I Met Your Mother’. 2006, was the most important year in NPH’s life, he had come out of the closet. He spends a good part of this book discussing how he had hooked up with girls, but found real attraction to certain males on sets that he was on. Earlier in life, he had told his mother about his homosexuality. Her response was that he may not be sure of his sexuality yet, but if he was gay his mother would still love him. NPH talks about how supportive both of his parents were.
In 2004, he began seeing David Burtka. In 2010, they had twins through a surrogate mother. In 2011, NPH opened the Tony Awards with a controversial, comical gay song. Their were certain lyrics he was asked not to use, but decided to use them on live television. Some of the producers weren’t to pleased. However, NPH managed to host the 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013 Tony Awards.
Love Me is a great documentary currently on Netflix streaming. I don’t believe it is meant to be a comedy. However, it is quite comical. It’s about a few interesting men in the United States that struggle to find a women. There are approximately 160 million women here in the United States, but they can’t seem to find any for themselves.
Spoiler Alert: Love Me is summarized, but still worth watching.
Bobby is a 400 lb government employee who obsessively plays video games. His ex-wife cheated on him and he is now looking for love. Eric is an engineer that lives in Texas. He looks a little like a serial killer. He never found true love in the states. Robert is a construction worker from California. He seems to be the most normal one out of the bunch. Ron, is a divorced millionaire from California. He is in his late 50s and very much into fitness. At some point in this documentary it looks like he is shooting steroids. Travis is a farmer from Wisconsin. He looks like a creepier version of Jon Cryer. He seems quiet and lonely. Michael is the only one outside of the United States. He lives in Australia. He is an older man that has been married twice before.
All the studs mentioned are part of a service that connects them with women in the Ukraine. These guys get ripped off by paying $10 an email to send them to potential females in the Ukraine. The documentary shows these guys taking a trip to Ukraine to find potential wives. It strategically shows their stories separately. Bobby waits for his true love at a dinner/dance the foreign exchange service sets up. He refuses to approach any of the other women at the dance because he is in love already with the one he met on the internet. It’s quite unfortunate because which Ukrainian woman wouldn’t want to be hit on by a 400 lb US government employee? He eventually gets them to find the woman the next day. She seems into him. But then ignores him when he goes back to the United States. Eric finds his woman (this being his 6th trip to the Ukraine), and she actually seems sweet and comes from a good family. They get married in a really inexpensive ceremony. And the “Kiss the Bride” scene is very gross. Eric looks even more like a serial killer kissing his bride. Robert is able to find his true love as well. Ron doesn’t have much success in the Ukraine, but is able to meet someone in the United States when he comes back. Travis, meets a woman, he goes back to the Ukraine to propose. He stays with the woman’s family and you can tell that something is not working out well. That story ends with the police saying his wife owes them $4,000, so now Travis owes them that money. He says he doesn’t have it and settles by paying the police $800. He goes back to the United States scammed and wifeless. Michael meets a woman that he marries. He is secretly warned about the woman. The woman admits that she only marries men to try to find a good place for her kids. She has married multiple men and doesn’t take things seriously. She never calls or answers calls from Michael. When Michael goes back to the Ukraine to figure out what is going on, they break the marriage off.
Love Me is hysterical. I think it’s supposed to be reality, but I cant help but feel that there is no way this can be real. Watch it, be entertained, and let me know if you think this is real.
Do you like General Hospital? This may be the book for you. It is an account of Twitter from the early beginnings to modern day. Hatching Twitter discusses 4 main founders of Twitter. You have Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass. Formal education was not a big ticket item for the founders. There is not enough information about Noah Glass, but the other 3 founders did not graduate college.
Evan Williams and Noah Glass got their popularity from Odeo. Odeo was a podcast service and was relatively popular. No where near the success that twitter would bring. Evan Williams had already made a decent fortune before twitter with the sale of Blogger to Google. Biz Stone, co-created Xanga and worked at Google before launching Twitter. Jack Dorsey was good at programming from a young age. He had created an open source program that would help dispatch cabs.
The book focuses on an egotistical Jack Dorsey. After the launch of Twitter, he had become CEO of the company. The company gained popularity as the founders spread the word by mouth. They got their first big victory when an Earthquake came to California and people started tweeting about it. They realized it was a great tool for getting warning information over to users. Since they were going to parties in Hollywood, they managed to get celebrities to start using the service. Once celebrities started using Twitter, many people started to join. It was a great way to connect with/stalk celebrities.
As Twitter grew, they did not have the resources needed to keep the service online 24 hours. Twitter would go down quite a bit. Jack Dorsey did a poor job keeping the books and the company was not profitable. Moreover, he had found daily yoga and a a lifelong dream to be a fashion designer more important that his CEO role. The other founders would make Dorsey step down from his position and have Evan Williams take over.
Williams was more personable than Dorsey. He would build out the company and even make a guest appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show. Even though Williams was not aware, Dorsey’s new goal was to get him fired. He would eventually succeed in that goal.
When Sergey Brin met Larry Page they did not hit it off right away. They would eventually work together to build one of the biggest companies. Twitter seems like the opposite. You have what seemed like friends working together, that work to stab each other in the back. Twitter is Silicon Valley’s version of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Tigers Woods, the Michael Jordan of Golf. The book begins with the tragedy of Tiger Woods’ infidelity. It brings us to that part of his life when the media was well aware of what was going on. How his cheating generated such popularity in the news.
Earl Woods, Tiger’s father, was in the military. He had met Kultida when he was on tour in Thailand. They had Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods in 1976. Tiger had two half brothers that were much older from Earl’s first marriage. Tiger was the name of a South Vietnamese officer that saved Earl’s life multiple times in Vietnam.
Tiger Woods was very much into golf at a young age. He had enjoyed watching his father putt when he was a baby. As a child he was uncomfortable between the racism at the school and not being very attractive. As he got older Tiger Woods filled the role of the male friend to females. They didn’t want to go out with him, but liked him because he was polite.
As Tiger Woods developed into the golf phenom his confidence grew. He went to Stanford University on a golf scholarship. At the age of 19 he was already playing in his first PGA Tour. At the age of 20, he already had contracts with Nike and Titliest. In 2000, Nike gave him a 5-year contract extension worth $105 million.
Around that time he had met Elin Nordegren. She was a former model that was working as a nanny in Florida. She wasn’t interested in Tiger Woods at first. But soon she would fall in love with him. The couple married in 2004.
Unfortunately for Elin, Tiger was a sex addict. Based on this book it wasn’t just a scandal and fall out. Since becoming a confident college student, Tiger Woods was all about the women. He would entertain people with his raunchy humor. Other golfers on the PGA tour knew Tiger Woods enjoyed the company of other females. He would be caught in clubs making out with women. Even when he was out with the wife, he enjoyed the attention that other women gave him.
The actual scandal had caused Tiger Woods to lose most of his endorsements. Having Tiger Woods on a product used to be a huge money maker for these corporations, but after the scandal they had the opposite effect. EA Sports kept the production of the Tiger Woods game they produced because they already spent too much money on testing. Tiger Woods went to sex rehab, but it couldn’t save a family that he had destroyed. The couple divorced in 2010 and Elin Nordegren received $750 million.