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Monday, July 16, 2012

Frank Kameny letter to gay marriage pioneer Jack Baker in 1973

Envelope of Frank Kameny letter to Jack Baker 1973

PHOTO: Envelope of Frank Kameny's letter mailed to Jack Baker March 4, 1973 with the famous "LOVE" U.S. postage stamp based on a famous painting. (See Jack Baker, "Letter from Frank E. Kameny Washington, D.C. (U.S.A.)," as last posted July 16, 2012)

Frank Kameny letter to Jack Baker 1973 PHOTO: A letter Frank Kameny mailed to Jack Baker on March 4, 1973 after Frank saw Jack's appearance on the David Susskind TV show concerning the gay liberation movement. Frank tells jack about the successful efforts to repeal the sodomy law in Washington, D.C. and his plans to attend an American Psychiatric Association meeting that would later prove to be important in the decision to remove homosexuality from the official list of mental disorders. (See Jack Baker, "Letter from Frank E. Kameny Washington, D.C. (U.S.A.)," as posted July 16, 2012)

Jack Baker continues to post the very interesting letters that were sent him in response to the international news coverage of his gay marriage activism in Minnesota. He plans to donate these to The Tretter Collection at the University of Minnesota. (See Jack Baker, "Some letters from inside the U.S.A. (A-F) Dreams come alive," posted July 12, 2012 and my previous post Jack Baker deserves mainstream press coverage after gay marriage ruling (7/7/12))

Frank Kameny was one of the original gay activists who was involved in getting homosexuality removed from the official list of mental disorders now known today as the American Psychiatric Association, "Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV-TR," American Psychiatric Association, 2000 (Google Books search). (Also see (Wikipedia)) This book is commonly abbreviated as the DSM. The history of a larger agenda that followed is described in the paper by Charles Silverstein, "The Implications of Removing Homosexuality from the DSM as a Mental Disorder," Archives of Sexual Behavior, April, 2009, p. 161-163. (See my previous post DSM V pedophilia, hebephilia, ephebophilia, teliophilia, gerontophilia (8/22/09))

Thursday, July 12, 2012

OSU President in alumni magazine on cultural center upgrade and anti-gay backlash

OSU alumni magazine on cultural centers Fall 2011, p. 8-11 Winter 2012, p. 5

PHOTO: (click photo to enlarge) Oregon State University President writes in the alumni magazine about raising the money to renovate or rebuild four of the main cultural centers. See article by Ed Ray, "Ed Said, Consider what it's like to be the 'other,'" Oregon Stater alumni magazine, Fall 2011, p. 8-9 (left) and an anti-gay letter in response in the next issue where the editor said Ed's article had an unprecedented response (right). Christine Armer, 0'03, "Prefers Melting Pot," Oregon Stater alumni association magazine Winter 2012, p. 5. Ed ray responds that he meant to also emphasize in the original piece that the cultural centers are important places for everyone to visit and learn.

OSU President Ed Ray was instrumental in raising money to have OSU's four main ethnic cultural centers rebuilt or renovated, a process which has begun with work on a new Native American Cultural Center. (Also Asian & Pacific Cultural Center, Black Cultural Center, Centro Cultural César Chávez, Native American Longhouse)

I am not privy to the internal OSU administration discussions, but I am sure that there has been much discussion on how do you treat cultural centers associated with a legally protected minority racial class, such as the black student center, versus the Women's Center, which represents an oppresed majority of students instead of a minority, and the OSU Pride center, for LGBT students, without offending either liberals or conservatives that sponsor OSU. I've witnessed the arguments over the years and the "politically correct" approach has been not to compare racial minorities with other groups and to acknowledge that even though women are a minority they have been historically oppressed and disadvantaged due to sex discrimination. Likewise, gay students have always had to deal with the accusation that they are not a true minority because sexual orientation is a choice unlike race according to some people and furthermore, various campus religious organizations consider gay behavior to be immoral and are resentful of gays receiving "special rights." Ironically, religion is a choice and the campus diversity goals strive to ensure the inclusiveness of all minority religious points of view, even the bigoted ones.

Other links of interest:

OSU archives library collection on gay history had added some things since I last checked. Here are some key links:

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Google Maps Street View Car seen near OSU as tuition rises

View Larger Map

PHOTO: I was driving around Corvallis, Oregon and I recently saw the -- Google Maps "Street View Car" driving near Oregon State University at NW Honeysuckle Dr & NW Boxwood Dr Corvallis, OR 97330 . The car was driving east on Boxwood Drive, paused at a stop sign and then turned left north on Honeysuckle Drive on Monday, June 11, 2012 at about 12:02 PM Pacific Time. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to process the data and for it to show up online. I am assuming that a Google street car view tour of Oregon State University will soon be available.

NOTE UPDATE Dec. 14, 2012: street view was seen for the first time online Nov. 29, 2012 on Google Maps Street View after the photo was taken June 11, 2012 at about 12:02.

View Larger Map

PHOTO: Google Maps Street View Honeysuckle and Boxwood Drive near OSU photo taken Monday, June 11, 2012 at about 12:02 PM Pacific Time, first accessed Nov. 29, 2012 1:30 PM PT". Also see Close up of Tom in picture

Speaking of OSU:

"OSU tuition to rise 6.9 percent

Oregon State University undergraduate students will pay a tuition increased by 6.9 percent, from $6,228 to $6,660.

"However, a decrease in student fees means the overall increase will be 5.1 percent tuition from this academic year, with those taking the standard 15 credits paying $8,138 in tuition and fees.

"Students will pay $447.57 in fees per term this coming year, compared to $460.47 per term this year."

(Quoted from Steven DuBois (The Gazette-Times contributed to this story), "State board raises tuition at universities," Gazette-Times posted Jun. 2, 2012)

When the Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling attended OSU, tuition was free. Even less than a half Century ago a student could earn enough money to pay for tuition and a dorm room by working only a summer job setting chokers for a local logging crew. The shift toward making students take out loans to pay for college is an intentional move by Republicans to cut taxes and destroy colleges, but Democrats have gone along with it for different reasons. This shift will only reduce class mobility even further in America.

OSU Drapela vs. global warming research politics

recent newspaper headlines about the Oregon State University flap over the termination of a chemistry instructor

PHOTO: (click on photo to enlarge) recent newspaper headlines about the Oregon State University flap over the termination of a chemistry instructor (left) Joce Dewitt, "Chemistry instructor challenges job loss," Gazette-, OSU denies stand on climate change was factor, Times, posted July 4, 2012, p. A1, A6 and (right) Andrew Kilstrom, "Chemistry off between OSU, Drapela, Oregon State University, former chemistry professor Nicholas Drapela share their sides of dismissal," Barometer, posted July 3, 2012

This case at OSU is an example of the tradeoffs between being a research university versus a teaching university. Research funding becomes king and good teaching takes a back seat. It means that even a good non-research chemistry instructor is not exempt from the politics of acquiring research funding.

This case is being misinterpreted by conservative Republicans as being an attack on global warming skeptics. They see it as a case of standing up to liberals and college academic elitists. Even if both sides are right about this, I think it is a mistake for scientific skeptics to portray themselves as being victims, as Drapela is doing. Instead, they should be taking the personal responsibility to build other more favorable funding sources, which will sponsor research that can counter global warming advocates.

Here is my letter about this case:

Readers like me will be grateful this is not another letter about global warming. Instead, it defends the recent termination of a popular Oregon State University instructor Nick Drapela after he questioned global warming.

First, I will concede that the history of science demonstrates how often a skeptical lone wolf scientist becomes a martyr after bravely questioning religious or scientific dogma. In return, any so-called denier of "scientific facts" will usually be given individual credit and glory by society after he is proven to be right.

Iconoclasts take a calculated risk. At OSU it tragically led to the suffering of Drapela's family, as poignantly described in his own words quoted by Gordon J. Fulks and George Taylor's blog post dated June 13, 2012.

Please note that I am sympathetic to Drapela's family suffering. Also, I have no personal interest in the academic infighting over climate change.

However, as a taxpayer, I believe good teamwork is required to efficiently do world-class research with taxpayer dollars. If we hold OSU research department chairmen responsible for this, then it is only fair to let them pick their team, in a manner similar to how OSU Beaver football players and coaches are treated.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "For the good of the team," Gazette-Times, Jul. 8, 2012, p. D5)

Although I didn't address it in my letter due to space, I see this as part of the bigger issue of the tradeoffs between allowing academic freedom for exploring new ideas at universities and allowing only the type of research that will get the most funding. Perhaps, I will write some more on this idea later.

In response, people not close to academia have asked me why research has anything to do with non-research staff members, such as Drapela. Both Drapela and others think his continued employment should be determined only by his outstanding teaching record, as evidenced by his students' high praise of him.

In fact, the limited resources of OSU make it essential for their entire research team, from the contracted cleaning crew to the world famous scientists, to be pulling in the same direction. OSU researchers must team up with researchers worldwide because OSU can't do it all.

Other people ask nostalgically why OSU can't be like it was in the last Century -- a good teaching college instead of a research university where students take a back seat. The reason is because OSU has adapted to the defunding of it by the Oregon Legislature over the last few decades. OSU has predictably replaced tax dollars by seeking externally funded research programs along with increasing student enrollment and tuition.

The bad news is that good research professors are stereotypically bad teachers. The flip side is that funded research can provide students with many more educational opportunities than just a boring old classroom.

Here are some samples of the flurry of previous letters on global warming:

Some related posts and links on this issue:

BusinessWeek says OR codes are falling out of favor

QR code for thomaskraemer dot blogspot dot com PHOTO: A QR code for the URL link to the Thomas Kraemer blog. QR is an abbreviation of Quick Response code that any smart phone should be able to photograph and decode to go here without having to manually type the link. See previous post: Quick Response QR code for potatoes and Thomas Kraemer blog (10/15/11)

The article by Mark Milian, "QR Code Fatigue, QR Codes have become ubiquitous -- just as they are falling out of favor with advertisers," BusinessWeek, July 2-8, 2012, p. 28-29 posted Jun. 28, 2012 says, "the small Tokyo-based team that invented the technology in 1994 at Denso Wave, a subsidiary of Toyota Group. The company created the square codes to improve inventory tracking for auto parts, says Koji Fujiyoshi, an executive there." Plus, "the next version of its iPhone operating system is released. The new software includes a feature called Passbook, a digital wallet to store boarding passes, coupons, movie tickets, and gift cards-many of which rely on QR codes." The article notes for the future "Denso Wave is working on what it calls "the next generation of QR codes," including versions that are smaller and can securely transmit encrypted data."

On a separate topic, but also of interest is the site allows you to create a calendar for 1978 and similarity a calendar for 1977.The time and date calendar can be reformatted in many ways.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Jack Baker deserves mainstream press coverage after gay marriage ruling

Baker et al. v. Nelson, United States Reports, Volume 409, Cases Adjudged in the Supreme Court, October Term, 1972, Oct. 10, 1972 'dismissed for want of a substantial federal question.'

PHOTO: An original printed bound copy of first U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage that was initiated by University of Minnesota law student Jack Baker in and his lover McConnell in 1970 after they noticed that Minnesota State law did not specify the gender of married couples and they got married: Baker et al. v. Nelson, Oct. 10, 1972, "United States Reports, Volume 409, Cases Adjudged in the Supreme Court, October Term, 1972," U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974, p. 810. At the time, and unlike today, state court cases that had a Constitutional rights question were automatically entitled to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which often refuses to hear cases. However, the court frequently dodged this obligation by using the same one-sentence ruling that they used in this case, "Dismissed for want of a substantial federal question." Given how frequently the Court used this one-sentence ruling, it may or may not have been because the Court had actually given it enough thought to decide that marriage was a matter of State law and not Federal law. However, it is true that marriage was strictly a matter of state law until plural and interracial marriage cases were challenged and after anti-gay marriage groups had forced the passage of Federal laws, such as the Defense of Marriage Act, which by definition make marriage an issue of Federal law. Pending state gay marriage cases, which are about to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, have made this point to the Court. (See previous posts Baker v. Nelson 1972 Supreme Court order on gay marriage (7/22/09) and (NY Constitutional law Professor) Arthur S. Leonard on Baker v Nelson gay marriage case (7/28/09))

A blog post by Jack Baker, Esq., "DRAFT - Marriage Equality - a retrospective" from Jack Baker Now is the time," originally posted March 1, 2012 and edited July 4, 2012 appears to have been deleted by him again. Apparently, he is trying to finish and perfect his autobiography before posting it permanently. He is also similarly posting and deleting some other historical documents that he wants to donate to the University of Minnesota, which he hopes will issue an apology for rescinding a job offer to his lover of 42 years after the U of M Regents found out about their gay marriage in the early 1970s. If I were him, I would be editing it offline until I was ready to post, unless I wanted to have a history of my additions and changes over time. If that was my goal, then I would then handle it two different ways. First, I would use a series of blog posts that had link references to previous posts (and I would edit the older posts with links to the newer post). Second, I would also use a formal document or software revision control system, such as the one used by where previous versions of the article are kept by date and are easily accessible.

I was pleased to see Jack Baker had linked to some of my former posts Gay marriage pioneer Jack Baker starts blog (confirmed) (4/4/12) and Magnus Hirschfeld, Jack Baker, University of Minnesota and Oregon State University gay connection (1/21/2012). Baker also quoted a previous online article that I wrote for the famous gay rights activist Jack Nichols's newspaper: "Jack Baker & Michael McConnell: Lunatics or Geniuses?" published June 21, 2004. My thesis is based on the fact that gay marriage activism was rejected by early gay activists who were mostly interested in sexual freedom and gay liberation. I argued that Jack Baker was a genius to see that gay marriage would become the litmus test for gay equality decades later because nearly all other gay activists angrily dismissed gay marriage as being contrary to the goals of gay liberation and even mainstream gay organizations worked against it back then.

Below are my comments and notes on Jack's latest version of his autobiography:

  • Jack Baker was born March 10, 1942 - Jack says he was motivated by the leadership of President John F. Kennedy and I believe him having heard JFK. However, he was only 18 years old when he claims to have voted for John F. Kennedy, which would have been in the fall of 1960, but I recall the legal voting age at that time in Minnesota was 21 and it did not change to age 18 until the McGovern vs. Nixon Presidential election of 1972. See "Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution," From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that says it limited the minimum voting age to 18. It was adopted in response to student activism against the Vietnam War and to partially overrule the Supreme Court's decision in Oregon v. Mitchell. It was adopted on July 1, 1971.
  • Michael McConnell was born May 19, 1942 and was married to Jack Baker on May 18, 1970, a date Jack says was picked so the news coverage would be the next day for a 28th birthday present to his husband.
  • Jack Baker notes how his gay marriage activism has become the center of gay rights activism today. However, the way he words it, the time frame is unclear. An important point I made in my essay "Jack Baker & Michael McConnell: Lunatics or Geniuses?" is that virtually all gay people in the 1970's were focused on "sexual freedom" and "gay liberation" and they viewed marriage as being an archaic institution used to oppress women. Ironically, the pre-Stonewall homophile activist, W. Dorr Legg, was a conservative who discussed the meaning of gay marriage in an early homophile publication. (See my previous posts OSU W. Dorr Legg homosexual marriage 1953 vs. CA Prop 8 2010 (8/22/10), Gay free speech victory 50th anniversary (1/18/08))
  • Jack Baker was introduced to Michael McConnell at the University of Oklahoma as an officer cadet in the Airman Education commissioning program. He was released from active duty in 1966 and returned to Norman, Oklahoma on his 24th birthday.
  • After military service, Jack Baker worked as an engineer (I would love to know for what company and what he did) in Lawrence, Kansas and Michael McConnell worked in a Kansas City, Missouri college library.
  • Jack Baker started Law School in Sept. 1969 (I always loved that year! The summer of love occurred that year.)
  • Nov. 1, 1969 the FREE group (Fight Repression of Erotic Freedom) was officially charted and Jack Baker was elected President. Jack notes that a faculty member had already been recruited to sponsor the group before he arrived.
  • Michael McConnell was eventually hired by the Hennepin County Library system of 41 libraries (Minneapolis, Minnesota is located in this County)
  • when a lower Minnesota Court the marriage clerk's denial of the marriage license application of Jack Baker and Michael McConnell, Jack says that the Legal Aid Clinic at his law school refused to help and Law School Dean William B. Lockhart, who had published a book on constitutional law, told Baker privately that gay marriage was the one issue that should not be raised in court. It is not clear if this was because he was anti-gay or if it was well meaning advice that the timing of constitutional law cases are important if you want to win. I've talked to other constitutional scholars who criticized Baker for risking setting a bad precedent other courts would be forced to follow. Of course, this concern proved to be moot because the decision in this case was largely ignored or did not cause any other future decisions to be decisively swayed against gay marriage.
  • Jack says the Minnesota Chief Justice Oscar R. Knutson (I went to school with his child) circulated a proposed Order of the Court denying Jack Baker's formal request to be admitted to the bar so that he could practice law in the State of Minnesota. The order failed only because one Justice refused to sign because he had a gay son who Jack never met.
  • Jack Baker retired from practicing law in 2008.
  • JackBaker's post celebrates being "True lovers, 46 years and counting" with Michael McConnell. Today, both of them are age 70, which means they met in 1965 when they were both 23 years old.
  • Jack Baker quotes Kay Tobin and Randy Wickers' 1972 book "The Gay Crusader: "A new look at marriage was being forced upon courts, politicians and public. And maybe a far-reaching social revolution was under way." Wicker had been part of the pre-Stonewall homophile Mattachine Society and so I bet he was aware of the gay marriage issues raised by W. Dorr Legg. Wicker was not a conservative, but he was mature enough to see the significance of Baker's gay marriage activism. I have talked to both Wicker and Jack Nichols about their contemporaneous views of Baker back then and both agreed with me that most gay activists at that time did not embrace the idea of gay marriage because they wanted sexual and gay liberation from what they consider the archaic institution of marriage that was used to oppress women.

I am glad to see that Jack Baker is taking the time to document his history. I would hope that when the U.S. Court rules in favor of gay marriage that Jack Backer is given some high profile coverage in the mainstream press. He deserves it.

Friday, July 6, 2012

OSU vs. the Penn State homosexual child abuse case

Harmful to Minors by Judith Levine 2002, 2003 book cover PHOTO: cover of controversial book by Judith Levine, M.D., Joycelyn M. Elders, M.D. "Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex," Thunder's Mouth Press, 2003. See previous post DSM V pedophilia, hebephilia, ephebophilia, teliophilia, gerontophilia (8/22/09).

Below is my letter in response to the "Editorial: Can't happen here? They thought that at Penn State, too," Gazette-Times, posted Jun. 26, 2012:

I support a proposed bill that requires college officials to report sexual abuse, as was described in a June 26 G-T editorial, "Can't happen here? They thought that at Penn State too."

However, this bill doesn't address the root problem of societal homophobia, which subconsciously teaches boys the code of silence:

Only "sissy boys" talk about being nude with "real men" who initiate "normal" homoerotic camaraderie in a male sports locker room.

Societal homophobia blames the victim. More than any threat by an abuser, boys fear that they will be blamed and called "gay" because they "went along with it" or did not report it until much later after regretting "doing it."

The fear is real. Merely mentioning the idea that any boy could "go along with it" triggers a violent homophobic disgust reaction in exclusively heterosexual men. Perhaps it is only theoretical bravado, but most men insist that as a boy they would have fought to the death if abused.

Boys will continue being victimized until society can overcome homophobia and empower boys to speak up before they do anything with a man that they might later regret.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: To battle victimization, we all must overcome homophobia," Gazette-Times, Jul. 6, 2012, p. A11)

Of course, the editorial was unsigned, as is the custom at most newspapers that consider unsigned editorials to represent the newspaper's stand, but I sense it was written by a man. (There is one male editor and one female editor who write most of the editorials.) The only reason this subject makes me cringe is because of the history of homosexuals being equated with child molesters in order to justify anti-gay discrimination -- child molestation is a topic so easily distorted and emotionally charged that the real problems are often ignored. I credit the editorial for not conflating these issues, but I still think they should have mentioned it explicitly to establish the differences.

See previous post DSM V pedophilia, hebephilia, ephebophilia, teliophilia, gerontophilia (8/22/09) that discusses the paper by Ray Blanchard, et al, "Pedophilia, Hebephilia, and the DSM-V," Archives of Sexual Behavior, June, 2009, p. 335-350 This paper is relevant to the Penn State case because it is debatable if the Penn State situation was a case of ephebophilia or pedophilia as it was popularly portrayed in the press. Blanchard's objective in his paper was to add hebephilia to the list of mental disorders in the next edition DSM-V. He defines it relative to these other categories:

  • pedophilia is erotic preference for prepubescent children younger than 11 years old. (Greek word paidos for child)
  • hebephilia is erotic preference for pubescent children ages 11 or 12 to about 14 or 15. (Greek word hebe for youth) Puberty is variously defined as the start of menstruation and adult-pattern pubic hair in girls or boys. Curiously, Blanchard does not mention the ability to ejaculate semen as being one of the definitions of puberty for a boy. To me the ability to orgasm and cum are significant.
  • ephebophilia refers to those who prefer adolescents around 15-19 years of age. (Greek word ephebos for one arrived at puberty) Dorland's Medical Dictionary defines ephebes as being age 18-25.
  • teliophilia ia a newer term to denote the erotic preference for persons .between the ages of physical maturity and physical decline. (Greek word tel(o) for related to end)
  • gerontophilia is the erotic preference for the aged (Greek word geras for old age)

Blanchard notes that some of the above terms were coined long ago and he cites Krafft-Ebing and the German book by Magnus Hirschfeld, "Die Homosexualität des Mannes und des Weibes," 1914, 2nd Edition, Berlin, Louis Marcus Books, 1920, translated by Michael A. Lombardi-Nash, introduction by Vern L Bullough, "The homosexuality of men and women," Prometheus Books, 2000, which on p. 334-335, 361 defines "ephebophiles" (Google Books search) as being "sexually attracted to sexually mature youths from puberty to the early twenties."

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Internet history plus BusinessWeek on gay dot xxx and murder mystery

ARPANET geographic map in June, 1975, showing U.S. connections and satellite links to Hawaii and London, is from a book by Leonard Kleinrock 'Queuing Systems, Vol. II: Computer Applications,' 1976, p. 309

PHOTO: ARPANET geographic map in June, 1975, showing U.S. connections and satellite links to Hawaii and London, is from a book by Leonard Kleinrock 'Queuing Systems, Vol. II: Computer Applications,' 1976, p. 309.

Book jacket showing M.C. Escher drawing of endless staircase for Leonard Kleinrock, 'Queuing Systems, Vol. II: Computer Applications,' 1976, p. 309 PHOTO: Book jacket showing M.C. Escher drawing of endless staircase for Leonard Kleinrock, 'Queuing Systems, Vol. II: Computer Applications,' 1976, p. 309. Both volumes I and II of this book were required texts for a graduate level electrical engineering class that I took back then. The professor teaching the class had worked with Kleinrock and IBM researchers who developed networking technology that formed the basis for the present day Internet. As part of his research, he planned to put a satellite receiver on the roof of the Oregon State University Dearborn Hall and connect to ARPANET via the Hawaii node. (See Wikipedia: ARPANET and previous post OSU Internet research 1975 (9/2/06))

The history of the internet is quite rich. One of the fathers of the internet, Vint Cerf (See Wikipedia), talks about it in a very interesting TV program: "History of the Internet (The Evolution of the internet) Panetta (Leon and Sylvia) Institute" C-SPAN Video Library, posted May 28, 2012 -- "Technology experts and journalists talked about the history, evolution and future of the internet. They touched on a wide variety of topics including the impact of new technologies and communications media on society, the use of social media to influence popular and political culture, Internet use in business, and how the Internet had changed news media. They also interacted with the audience. 1 hour, 57 minutes.

The history of the internet just got richer with the following two feature stories in a traditionally straight establishment business magazine:

  • Paul M. Barrett, "The New Republic of Porn," BusinessWeek, June 25 to July 1, 2012, p. 58-64 posted on June 21, 2012 -- ""We didn't know whether, if we built it, people would come," Lawley concedes. He need not have worried. Last October, Corbin Fisher, a major gay studio in Las Vegas, said it would pay $500,000 for (the site is still under construction). In December, Clips4Sale, a downloadable video site, announced a $700,000 all-cash deal for a package of 30 premium names. Those big chunks of cash go to ICM. "We won," says Lawley."

  • Brad Stone, "The Talented M. Despallières," BusinessWeek, July 2-8, 1012, p. 56-61 posted on on June 28, 2012 -- "Despallières's flamboyant arrival on the London scene immediately angered Ikin's family and friends. Over the years, Ikin had meticulously revised several wills that divided his wealth between charities and his extended family. His family in Australia challenged the will in British court. The ensuing legal confrontation received ample attention from the tabloids. ("Young gay husband Alexandre Despallières gets Peter Ikin millions in will" read one headline in the Telegraph, a Sydney paper.)"

I was amazed when the first gay story in BusinessWeek showed up last week, but I was even more amazed to see two gay feature stories two weeks in a row! I heard on the news that new xxx internet domains mentioned in the first article are on hold (I haven't confirmed this) and I loved reading the second story's connection to a Japanese online porn company. It is becoming a small world after all.

Blue Lagoon 2012 movie version on Lifetime

High school Aussie actors Brenton Thwaites (Dean) spooning with Indiana Evans (Emma) in 2012 Lifetime movie version of original 190 film with Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields

PHOTO: High school Aussie actor Brenton Thwaites (Dean) spooning with actor Indiana Evans (Emma) in the 2012 Lifetime movie version of original 1980 film "Blue Lagoon" with Christopher Atkins and Brooke Shields. The new version first aired on the Lifetime network June 16, 2012 and it is being repeated frequently. (See previous post Christopher Atkins loincloth Blue Lagoon 1980 (7/4/09))

Christopher Atkins standing in a loincloth on the cover of People magazine Aug. 11, 1980 PHOTO: (click on photo to enlarge) Christopher Atkins standing in a loincloth on the cover of People magazine Aug. 11, 1980. See previous post Christopher Atkins loincloth Blue Lagoon 1980 (7/4/09)

It was hard to stomach watching this remade-for-TV movie given my blindness and the fact that it seemed to caricature what I call the cool California beach boy. However, I am sure the eye candy was appreciated by many viewers despite the lame storyline and acting. The TV Guide story on it reminded how the original movie was so controversial that Brooke Shields, then only 14 years old, was called to a U.S. Congressional investigation into if anything improper took place on the set. Oh, yeah, I am sure this is the only thing that those sexually oppressed congressmen wanted to do.

Speaking of censorship, I was not surprised that the new version dressed the actors more conservatively than the original movie did. There were no cute loincloths like in the original. I guess the idea that men are not sex objects died out years ago.

Google Android Sony SmartWatch apes HP-01 LED watch from 1977

Sony ships Android-Powered SmartWatch, MaximumPC, Jul. 2012, p. 9

PHOTO: The new Google Android Sony SmartWatch apes the HP-01 from 1977. It was featured in the magazine article "Sony ships Android-Powered SmartWatch," MaximumPC, Jul. 2012, p. 9 posted online as "Sony's Android Powered SmartWatch Now Shipping in the U.S," Apr. 13, 2012. Also see the Sony SmartWatch Product Page.

HP-01 calculator watch LED display that consumed batteries quickly and small keys that required a stylus to press PHOTO: The HP-01 LED display calculator watch was first produced in 1977 shortly after the successful launch of HP handheld calculator division in 1972, but it was quickly made obsolete by LCD display watches that used less battery power and that could last for years without recharging or replacing the batteries. HP was working on an LCD version when the project was cancelled during a slump in business. See the "HP-01," The Museum of HP Calculators accessed Jun. 27, 2012 and Hewlett-Packard's museum display of the HP-01 wrist instrument, 1977 at accessed Jun. 27, 2012

Timex calculator sports watch, manufactured around 1990 PHOTO: The Timex calculator sports watch, manufactured around 1990, proved to be a more practical calculator watch because it had buttons big enough to press and a LCD display that conserved battery power enough to be able to run for years without recharging or replacing the battery.

When all the projects at the HP calculator division were cancelled by top management in 1982, I recall being part of the engineering team asked to present new product ideas for possible funding. I had just read the AT&T Bell Labs journal article on the new cell phone technology they planned to roll out in 1984. I immediately saw that the cell phone would be a perfect product to combine with the HP handheld computer technology. My management chain approved me to show it to show top HP mangers as one of three proposals. I later learned that they did this because they had been asked to present one short term project idea, one long term project idea and one futuristic project idea. Of course, if I had known this was the reason, I would have been crushed because I took the idea seriously. In fact, when I presented the idea for combining HP handheld computer technology with a cell phone to access data, one Vice President of HP laughed out loud and immediately dismissed the idea. I would love to meet him today and tell him I was right and then shove Steve Job's Apple iPhone in his face. Of course, I am sure he would remind me of how I precociously told him that he was crazy to think touch computers would be the wave of the future. We were both a little off in our timing for predictions of the future.

Needless to say, I a sorry that I am now too blind to appreciate these new small smart devices, but I still dream of a day when they become accessible to people with any disability. Hopefully, this will happen before I die!