Tag Archives: lists

TWENTY MORE COOL FOOTBALL HELMETS

With too many sporting events getting canceled these days here’s a new Top Twenty List for 2020 here at Balladeer’s Blog. This one examines some neglected football helmets. 

EASTWOOD TROOPERS el-paso-eastwood-troopersComment: Why aren’t there more teams called Troopers?

WEATHERFORD KANGAROOSweatherford-kangaroos

Comment: Awesome name and awesome lids.

LEWISVILLE FARMERSlewisville-farmersComment: There’s something about the stark simplicity of these helmets paired up with the unique name the Farmers.

EISENHOWER EAGLESeisenhower-eaglesComment: Yes, that’s Eisenhower as in General and President Dwight Eisenhower aka “Ike.” Continue reading

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AND TWENTY MORE FAILED PREDICTIONS BY PSYCHICS

Balladeer’s Blog once again shamelessly panders gives readers what they want with yet ANOTHER list of Twenty Failed Predictions By Psychics.

Post ApocalypseBERKELEY PSYCHIC INSTITUTE (For 1975-1981)

*** In 1978 a war would break out between the Soviet Union and Germany. Several smaller countries would be drawn into the conflict and ultimately a new government would rise in the Soviet Union.

*** In 1976 the President of Mexico along with members of his family and two of his ministers would be assassinated, ending in the overthrow of the government.

*** Around 1978 or 1979 a Slovakian avatar would appear. This figure would operate on a psychic level and some time later would manifest himself as God. (Remember when that happened? Good times.) 

Mascot new look*** On May 26th, 1977 a war over fishing rights would break out between the Soviet Union and Greenland with nuclear torpedoes being used.

*** In 1980 several icebergs near the North Pole would break apart, revealing the remains of an advanced ancient civilization. Among the items that the submarine explorers would find would be machines, a time capsule and possibly materials from another planet revealing that they kicked off life on Earth. A giant glowing ball radiating tremendous energy would drive away the explorers. Continue reading

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PART TWO OF TWENTY JAMES GARNER MOVIES (11-20)

FOR THE FIRST TEN MOVIES CLICK HERE

One Little IndianONE LITTLE INDIAN (1973) – Light-hearted family western. James Garner portrays Corporal Clint Keyes, who, after clashing with his Indian-hating superior, escapes a potential hanging for it and rides off into the desert with a pair of camels left over from the ill-advised American Camel Corps attempt in the 1800s.

Clay O’Brien was the title character, Mark, a white boy who had been raised by Native Americans and who winds up tagging along with Keyes, Lone Wolf and Cub-style. Vera Miles plays the widowed Doris McIver and a very young Jodie Foster has the role of her daughter Martha. (“Why did you say that NAME!?”)

Morgan Woodward portrays the bad guy Sgt Raines, who relentlessly pursues Keyes to bring him back to be executed for mutiny and desertion. Robert Pine, Andrew Prine and Dallas‘ Jim Davis are in the cast as well. Naturally there’s a happy ending with Mark, the widow McIver and her daughter serving as a pre-packaged family for Garner’s character in the finale. Continue reading

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TWENTY JAMES GARNER MOVIES

James Garner 2Balladeer’s Blog’s theme of Top 20 lists for the year 2020 continues with this look at a score of James Garner films. NOTE: The Great Escape is not included, only because Garner was part of an ensemble cast in that movie. 

Best remembered for his portrayal of slick-talking gambler/ gunslinger Brett Maverick and Westlake-esque private detective Jim Rockford, Garner inspired the term “marshmallow macho”. That description perfectly captured Garner’s special appeal.

James GarnerFor many American males James Garner and the characters he brought to life represented a happy medium between psychotically macho men and unbearably femmey men. I hate the term “role model” but for lack of a better choice that’s what we’ll go with.

In addition Garner served in the Korean War and won two Purple Hearts.

MaverickMAVERICK (1994) – Though James Garner was technically playing a supporting role to Mel Gibson in this film, Gibson was portraying Bret Maverick, the character Garner had turned into a sensation in the 1950s. Since this movie would not exist without the cultural cache built up by James’ portrayal of both Bret AND “Pappy” Beauregard Maverick (in old age makeup) this definitely counts as a Garner film.

NECESSARY SPOILER: The lawman character that Garner portrays in the film turns out to really be Pappy Maverick, with Mel Gibson’s Bret simply playing along with his father’s impersonation. FOR MY FULL-LENGTH REVIEW OF THIS FILM CLICK HERE   

Barbarians at the GateBARBARIANS AT THE GATE (1993) – In this telefilm based on the best-selling non-fiction book, Jim plays F. Ross Johnson, the real-life president of RJR-Nabisco who unleashed one of the most chaotic and frenzied leveraged buyouts in Wall Street history during the “greed is good” 1980s.

The real Ross Johnson was close with Warren Beatty and other major players in the entertainment industry, which may be why he gets painted in a less villainous light in the movie. (Being played by the ever-charming Garner certainly helps.) In reality FEWER jobs were lost by the ultimately triumphant Henry Kravis’ LBO plan than would have been lost if Johnson came out on top.

Teddy Forstmann, the lone Wall Street figure of the 80s who was a voice in the wilderness condemning LBOs and the damage they did to the economy, gets depicted as a virtual loon. Very odd, since Forstmann’s real-life views on LBOs were closer to the sentiments of Larry Gelbart and the others behind this flick than Johnson’s or Kravis’ were.

Ultimately Barbarians at the Gate is a dark comedy classic, it’s true, but read the book if you want the real low-down on the eventful RJR-Nabisco buyout. Continue reading

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TEN WEBSITES THAT ARE NOT TO BE MISSED

Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at some sites you’ll kick yourself for not visiting on a daily basis.

INFOGALACTIC.COM

InfogalacticNature: Informational

Comment: Called “The planetary knowledge core,” Infogalactic.com proves you don’t ever need to use W-pedia OR the g-word. Well, you can use the g-word if you want search results that prioritize sites which PAY the g-barons to place them higher than sites that are actually more relevant to your search. And unlike W-pedia, Infogalactic.com doesn’t allow fools with an axe to grind to “edit” entries.

ETHAN VAN SCIVER’S C.A.P.S.

Ethan Van Sciver picNature: Irreverent takes on pop culture … and mummies

Comment: C.A.P.S. stands for Comic Artist Pro Secrets but don’t let that specificity fool you. Van Sciver is like a new King of All Media in the way that he irreverently addresses any and every pop culture topic that enters his crosshairs (And I think we all know how painful that can be). Called “Caesar” and “Uncle Ethan” by his fans, EVS’s YT channel makes for addictive viewing and/or listening. The jovial genius embodies the old clichés like “you know him, you love him, you can’t live without him.” Balladeer’s Blog’s regulars know that I know funny, and Ethan is hilarious! Continue reading

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TOP 5 COMPANIES LEADING THE SPACE TOURISM INITIATIVE

NASA on UnsplashOften referred to as commercial spaceflight for humans, flying to space is a dream that almost every super wealthy individual will be able to realize in the next few years. Till now, it was only RSA (Russian Space Agency) that used to offer such space tourism services in the early 2000’s at a cost of around $ 200 million per trip. However, they stopped such commercial space tourism back in 2010. 

In recent years, there are some space tourism companies which are going all out to make it the new travel frontier for the wealthy of the world, once again. NASA made an announcement last year that starting 2020 there will open up International Space Station for space tourism. Piloted by Boeing’s Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, civilians will be able to get the space experience at a reasonable cost. Five companies which are leading in this space are detailed below:  Continue reading

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TWENTY BEST MOON MAN PULP STORIES

Frederick C Davis

Frederick C Davis: It’s difficult not to picture him as Stephen Thatcher after seeing this picture.

Balladeer’s Blog’s 2020 theme of Top Twenty lists continues with this look at the 20 best pulp stories featuring Frederick C Davis’ hero the Moon Man (1933-1937). The Moon Man was really police detective Stephen Thatcher, who often circumvented the massive corruption in Great City by taking the law into his own hands.

Donning a black outfit and a helmet made of one-way Argus-glass, Thatcher went into action as the Moon Man, defeating and robbing criminals – both blue-collar AND white-collar – and using their ill-gotten gains to help the suffering poor of the city. This made him hunted by both the crooks and the cops years before the Green Hornet came along. For more on the Moon Man click HERE 

Moon Man 1THE SINISTER SPHERE

Villains: Crooked millionaire Martin Richmond and Kent Atwell, who is embezzling from a charity.

Story: This very first Moon Man story perfectly establishes the background of the tales. The Moon Man robs from a crooked millionaire and has his sidekick Angel (Ned Dargan) distribute the loot among Great City’s poor. Stephen Thatcher’s lady love Sue McEwen has no idea her beau is the romantic Moon Man.

Sue’s father Gil and Stephen’s father Peter are the city’s top cops and have been trying to catch the elusive Robin Hood figure for months. MM also recovers thousands of dollars stolen from a charity by a white-collar criminal. 

THE SILVER SECRET

Villain: Corrupt Judge Benjamin, Great City’s secret crime boss. Continue reading

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