December 28, 2012 archive

Dec 28

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Our regular featured content-

And this featured article-

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Write more and often.  This is an Open Thread.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

Dec 28

Jump

Figured I’d hop onto the cliche bandwagon with this clip. I expect it will be well worn segue music on the cable channels soon if not already.

I was never a Van Halen fan but I remember this tune well. Embarrassing as it is to admit, it was very popular back when I was in high school.

My money is on a grand betrayal before January 1st anyway.

Van Halen, Jump, 1984

Songwriters: DUPRI, JERMAINE/WEBSTER, GREGORY ALLEN/PIERCE, MARVIN R

Vocals: David Lee Roth

Guitar: Eddie Van Halen

Bass: Michael Anthony

Drums: Alex Van Halen

(Words by Van Halen)

To spare your ears I’ve posted the lyrics below-

Dec 28

Viewing Movies: Who Else Besides Me Really Misses the Old Days?

There was a time when moviegoing here in the United States (and probably throughout the world) was considered a real pasttime and a big deal for many people, whether one went to the movies with family, friends, or even solo.  Yet, at the time when that was the case, going solo wasn’t the cool thing to do, so, due to my relative social isolation when I was growing up,  plus the fact that I lived in an idyllic suburban town with no adequate public transportation, plus I didn’t learn to drive and get my driver’s license until around Christmastime 1968, as a high school Senior, plus since I drove one of the family cars (a 1963 Buick Jalopy station wagon), I was limited as to how much I was allowed to use the family car.   I’ll also add that getting a driver’s license, particularly among suburban kids (like myself), was considered a rite of passage, if one gets the drift.  Most of the kids where I went to high school, and certainly in my grade, got their licenses by the summer before they entered their Junior year of high school, but was a year late in getting my driver’s license.  I had sort of a rocky start, but I mellowed out, and became a more confident driver.  

When I finally graduated from high school in late June of 1969, I was pleasantly surprised by a home-made certificate (by my sister, who was still quite ill, but managed to do stuff and go to my graduation, anyway) stating that I was entitled to one little auto.  It turned out that my grandparents were giving me a car.  I tried some cars when I visited  my grandparents (who’re now both deceased), who lived out West, and decided on a Toyota Corona, with a 4-gear & reverse Stick shift car.  It was then that I began to taste freedom, and was able to get around pretty much anywhere.  Having a car represented freedom, independence and responsibility.  It was still a rocky start, but everything mellowed out and fell into place after awhile here, as well.  

Dec 28

On This Day In History December 28

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

December 28 is the 362nd day of the year (363rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are three days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1895, the first commercial movie is screened in Paris.

On this day in 1895, the world’s first commercial movie screening takes place at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who developed a camera-projector called the Cinematographe. The Lumiere brothers unveiled their invention to the public in March 1895 with a brief film showing workers leaving the Lumiere factory. On December 28, the entrepreneurial siblings screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time.

Movie technology has its roots in the early 1830s, when Joseph Plateau of Belgium and Simon Stampfer of Austria simultaneously developed a device called the phenakistoscope, which incorporated a spinning disc with slots through which a series of drawings could be viewed, creating the effect of a single moving image. The phenakistoscope, considered the precursor of modern motion pictures, was followed by decades of advances and in 1890, Thomas Edison and his assistant William Dickson developed the first motion-picture camera, called the Kinetograph. The next year, 1891, Edison invented the Kinetoscope, a machine with a peephole viewer that allowed one person to watch a strip of film as it moved past a light.

In 1894, Antoine Lumiere, the father of Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis (1864-1948), saw a demonstration of Edison’s Kinetoscope. The elder Lumiere was impressed, but reportedly told his sons, who ran a successful photographic plate factory in Lyon, France, that they could come up with something better. Louis Lumiere’s Cinematographe, which was patented in 1895, was a combination movie camera and projector that could display moving images on a screen for an audience. The Cinematographe was also smaller, lighter and used less film than Edison’s technology

The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas (19 October 1862, Besancon, France – 10 April 1954, Lyon) and Louis Jean (5 October 1864, Besancon, France – 6 June 1948, Bandol), were among the earliest filmmakers in history. (Appropriately, “lumière” translates as “light” in English.)

(In) 1862 and 1864, and moved to Lyon in 1870, where both attended La Martiniere, the largest technical school in Lyon. Their father, Claude-Antoine Lumière (1840-1911), ran a photographic firm and both brothers worked for him: Louis as a physicist and Auguste as a manager. Louis had made some improvements to the still-photograph process, the most notable being the dry-plate process, which was a major step towards moving images.

It was not until their father retired in 1892 that the brothers began to create moving pictures. They patented a number of significant processes leading up to their film camera – most notably film perforations (originally implemented by Emile Reynaud) as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector. The cinèmatographe itself was patented on 13 February 1895 and the first footage ever to be recorded using it was recorded on March 19, 1895.

Their first public screening of films at which admission was charged was held on December 28, 1895, at Salon Indien du Grand Cafè in Paris. This history-making presentation featured ten short films, including their first film, Sortie des Usines Lumière a Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory). Each film is 17 meters long, which, when hand cranked through a projector, runs approximately 50 seconds.

Dec 28

The True Meaning of Christmas

Shoppers disappoint retailers this holiday season

By DANIEL WAGNER, Associated Press

Wed, Dec 26, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. holiday sales so far this year have been the weakest since 2008, when the nation was in a deep recession. That puts pressure on stores that now hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending.



But stores still have some time to make up lost ground. The final week of December accounts for about 15 percent of the month’s sales, said Michael McNamara, vice president for research and analysis at MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. And the day after Christmas typically is among the biggest shopping days of the year.



In New York, the Macy’s location at Herald Square also was buzzing with shoppers. Ulises Guzman, 30, a social worker, said he held off buying until the final days before Christmas, knowing the deals would get better as stores got desperate. He said he was expecting discounts of at least 50 percent.

He saw a coat he wanted at Banana Republic for $200 in the days before Christmas but decided to hold off on making a purchase; on Wednesday, he got it for $80.



Holiday sales are a crucial indicator of the economy’s strength. November and December account for up to 40 percent of annual revenue for many retailers. If those sales don’t materialize, stores are forced to offer steeper discounts. That’s a boon for shoppers, but it cuts into stores’ profits.

Spending by consumers accounts for 70 percent of overall economic activity, so the eight-week period encompassed by the SpendingPulse data is seen as a critical time not just for retailers but for manufacturers, wholesalers and companies at every other point along the supply chain.



Online sales, typically a bright spot, grew only 8.4 percent from Oct. 28 through Saturday, according to SpendingPulse. That’s a dramatic slowdown from the online sales growth of 15 to 17 percent seen in the prior 18-month period, according to the data service.

The Media Excuses Are Missing What’s Really Behind Weak Retail Sales

Lance Roberts, Street Talk Live, Business Insider

Dec. 27, 2012, 4:57 AM

The excuses for the weakness, however, were just as much off the mark as the original analysts’ estimates.

While these excuses may play well in the media, in reality, the fiscal cliff, end of October storm and the school shooting had very little to do with retail sales on a nationwide basis.  However, what does have much to do with the level of retail sales are incomes.

Not surprisingly when wages and salaries are growing at a slower rate there is a corresponding weakness in the level of retail sales.  The peak in wages and salaries occurred in early 2011 with the subsequent growth rate trending weaker.  This corresponds with the economy which has continued to muddle along at a very anemic pace.



The decline in incomes, which can be seen in the roughly 1.2 million person increase in food stamp participation from June to September, is why retail “holiday” spending is weaker.  With credit limits reduced, incomes stagnant and real costs of living on the rise – it is not surprising that retail sales are far weaker than the NRF’s holiday season predictions.

Dec 28

Cartnoon

Dec 28

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning


Ornament 4