The summer movie season has been reserved for loud and frenetic action flicks for a while, but in recent years this May-September stretch has been dominated by comic book superheroes. This weekend, millions of moviegoers will continue to enjoy the adventures of Batman, Spiderman and the Avengers at the multiplex, snacking on popcorn while superheroes in colorful costumes (except for Batman) take on the bad guys, all while looking fabulous and cracking wise with witty remarks (except for Batman.)
However, while men and women in suspiciously form-fitting outfits might be raking in millions in theaters, the medium that spawned them all—the colorful comic book—is in a pretty sorry state. These days, kids who want a good power fantasy are about a thousand times more likely to play a videogame than to reach for a comic book, meaning that superhero comics are increasingly being written for the adults who grew up reading them in the ’70s and ’80s rather than children. Major publishers Marvel and DC have made some tepid efforts to reach out to the next generation, but for the most part, it’s a medium kept afloat by an ever-shrinking pool of individuals who continue to buy comics more out of habit and nostalgia than much real enthusiasm for the product.
Few movies have been more bleak, punishing and existential than The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final movie in the Batman trilogy. Notwithstanding its “all’s well that ends well” finale, for 164 unrelenting minutes the audience is assaulted with a savagery that nearly belies description as the fabled city of Gotham is literally razed by a 21st-century version of Huns and Visigoths armed with killing machines and heavy duty weaponry. I don’t think movies and video games, no matter how violent, precipitate mass murder, although it’s not implausible that images of uproarious and unremitting violence may cause a brittle sanity under prolonged and extreme distress to crack, resulting in an orgy of bloodshed. This pretty much capsules what happened in a Colorado multiplex where we have 12 dead and many dozens wounded in the latest rampage by a tormented loner obsessed with killing on a mass scale.
According to LIPA, conservation is the operative word when dealing with the scorching temperatures and withering humidity that’s continued to make perspiring feel like it should be considered a demonstration sport at the upcoming London Olympics. While no one is suggesting you quietly simmer in your household with the air conditioner off, the best option would be to take advantage of the Floral Park Recreation Center. Officially open for the season on June 9, the pool has a wide-ranging number of events aimed at kids of all ages. On July 26, D&J Refreshments is sponsoring a 1950s Roll Back Night, July 27 is when patrons get to indulge their sweet tooth with Top Your Own Sundae and August 2 is a Moonlight Movies theme where poolside videos of the latest releases and all-time children’s movies that the whole family can enjoy will be screened. For more information, be sure to visit the Floral Park Pool webpage. In the meantime, it all adds up to probably the best way to beat the heat and keep your electric bill down.
In response to Susan Lerner’s opinion piece in Newsday on July 3, entitled “Voters Are The Losers In Nassau Fight,” The League of Women Voters of Nassau County believes in many of the same principles Ms Lerner proposes. As a nonpartisan organization, the league has repeatedly spoken before the county legislature and to the temporary advisory redistricting commission for a fairer and more transparent process for redistricting than is currently being considered by this advisory commission.
The league believes first that the advisory commission should conduct hearings to receive input from residents about how the process should occur and suggestions on how district lines should be drawn. Then, after the commission creates proposed districts, there should be additional public hearings to discuss them. These hearings should be in all three towns and two cities in Nassau County and should occur at a variety of times (day and evening) and at multiple locations in order to accommodate as many people as possible. Equally important is that all meeting locations be handicapped-accessible.
MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota is once again trying to unfairly malign the communities from Queens Village to Hicksville for their successful campaign to derail the unwanted and unneeded $1.5 billion LIRR Third Track Megaproject boondoggle. According to Newsday, Chairman Lhota , addressing the Long Island Regional Planning Council meeting on July 10 (Newsday 7-11-12 “MTA Chief Cites LI “NIMBY” Mentality”), acknowledged that the third track proposal was “quite controversial” and the opposition, he said, had been “textbook NIMBY,” but the MTA would continue to work with local and state legislators to advance the project.
Once again we have to ask, “Say it ain’t so, Joe?” MTA Chairman Lhota, who was nowhere to be seen or heard during the Third Track public hearings, has been misinformed or has chosen to ignore the hundreds of pages of well-reasoned testimony and documents that were presented by the concerned citizens of the negatively impacted communities. Shame on Mr. Lhota and his MTA bureaucrats for refusing to recognize and acknowledge that the LIRR Third Track Megaproject was given a full and fair public hearing and the local communities won the debate fair and square.
On Saturday, July 14, the “Senator Jack M. Martins Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament” took place at Elmont’s Dutch Broadway School. Once again, the tournament was an overwhelming success as our young people displayed their athletic ability, sportsmanship and teamwork. This event exemplifies the togetherness of the community and what can be achieved when community members come together.
The classic wouldn’t be the success it is without the commitment and dedication of our volunteers. Year-round, their hard work and dedication goes toward making this event better each and every year. I want to thank all the volunteers for their efforts. I also want to thank the members of the community for being a part of the event as well as the sponsors for their support. Lastly, I would like to thank the 6,000 participants who attended, making for the biggest turnout in the tournament’s history.
It seems as if every other day there’s mention on WFAN or ESPN of some athlete ending up getting their mugshot taken for a wide variety of crimes and misdemeanors. So it’s refreshing to hear about a jock that’s taking the time to give back, particularly on the local level. Such is the case with San Antonio Spur Danny Green, who this week just got through hosting a basketball camp at Floral Park Memorial High School.
It’s a concept so abstruse and mind-boggling that it has become material for comedians generating lines such as this: So they’ve announced the Higgs boson, but no word on pricing or whether they will ship it by Christmas.
When you can’t quite grasp what they’re talking about, having a sense of humor helps. But it’s no laughing matter when you consider the investment involved. Hundreds of physicists and engineers world-wide have devoted more than 40 years and $10 billion to track down this most elusive subatomic particle. Now, with 99.9 percent certainty, they claim to have found the Higgs boson itself. Looking for something that no one had ever seen is par for the course in physics; a working hypothesis will do when hard evidence is unavailable. Higgs boson, (Higgs for the physicist Peter Higgs and boson for particles), was located not by bloodhounds since it has no scent, but with the help of an enormous collider that straddles the French-Swiss border and measures 27 miles in circumference and uses enough electricity to light up an entire city.
Ever since 1933, Major League Baseball has taken a break in roughly the mid-point of its lengthy season to play the All-Star Game. This annual event has the American and National League stepping between the lines fielding squads jam-packed with superstars. What once was played for bragging rights has more recently had home-field advantage in the World Series tied to it to ensure a greater incentive to win after the 2002 game was declared a tie after both squads ran out of players to substitute. Like much of professional baseball’s history, this particular game possesses a rich vein of memories be it Pete Rose destroying Ray Fosse in a home plate collision in 1970, the National League racking up 21 strikeouts in 1984 (including some newbie named Dwight Gooden striking out the side) or last-minute sub Derek Jeter taking A-Rod’s spot in 2000 and becoming the first Yankee to win the award with a three-hit performance.
Where does one start in commenting upon one of the most surprising and beguiling decisions in the history of judicial annals? This past week, the United States Supreme Court ruled that it is constitutional to impose a mandate to carry health insurance. According to Justice John Roberts, who surprisingly wrote the majority decision upholding the law, its constitutionality is not found under the Commerce Clause, which was the principal legal basis the Obama administration was invoking to justify the health care overhaul, but under Congress’ constitutional power to tax.
The subtleties and nuances of the court’s decision are intriguing. In Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3, which enumerates the powers delegated to the Congress, it states that Congress is empowered to “regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.” Sure enough, disputes rose over the range of powers the Commerce Clause bestowed on Congress, especially since it was so often paired with the “Necessary and Proper Clause,” a combination that enormously increased congressional control over the life of the economy.
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