Thursday, November 6, 2008

Back In Black

Back In Black

Welcome to a new reality. President Obama is our first black President. A totally new day. Then again, it's nothing new in my world. The world of screen. I've seen many a black men stand in the position that Obama is today. Sure, it doesn't take anything away from his role as the future Commander and Chef, but at least by drawing some comparisons, we can see what other fictional Black Presidents can do in the White House.

President Lindberg - "The Fifth Element"

The first Black President comes to us from two hundred and fifty years in the future. It’s true, he can’t enunciate his words particularly well but so what! Just knowing this man, with the intelligence of a grapefruit, was able to rise up to become the President of the United Federated Territories lets me know the future is going to be a great place. Thankfully, I’ll be dead by then. For those unlucky enough to not be dead, cab driver Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) for example works to save the planet from extinction with the help of Ruby Rhod (a whacky role played by Chris Tucker). Dallas saves the world, but only because President Lindberg (Tommy 'Tiny' Lister) said so. He's a hard as nails crazy S.O.B of a President. Someone who Russia's leader Dmitry Medvedev wouldn't dare threaten with a missile attack. Unless of course he wanted his ass handed to him.

President David Palmer - "24" (Seasons 2 and 3)

No, this is not an All-State commercial. Which reminds me, I need to pay my auto insurance. President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) may be seen on ads hocking you low car insurance rates but he's better known to me as the black President from 24. He was elected by the people and targeted for death, protected by Jack Bauer. This President took one crazy hand shake that almost took him out, only to come back and kick some major terrorist ass. He knocked heads with his shady ex-wife, Sherry Palmer, who sort of reminds me of Michelle Obama for some reason. He couldn't dodge the bullet two seasons later and was assassinated. Maybe he should have had that wall of bullet proof glass set up for his office windows. R.I.P

President Wayne Palmer - "24" (Season 6)

David Palmer's death paves the way for his younger brother Wayne (D.B. Woodside) to move into the Oval office. Which is rather strange that not only is there two brothers in the white house, but they are actually brothers. Since this is the 24 universe his presidential career is no easier. He helps free Jack Bauer's release from the Chinese government, fakes a nuclear bombing, is severly injured by an explosion at a press conference, and ends up in a coma by the season's end. I mean, come on. Can't a brother get some peace and quit? Then again, this shows that you'd elect two black men into the office before a Women, let alone a Hispanic. Gee, thanks a lot. I'm feeling the love here.

President Mays Gilliam - "Head of State"

"Head of State"

Chris Rock takes to the white house, and not for some comedy special. His character, a fired D.C. official Mays Gilliam, gets his party’s nomination for presidency he can hardly believe it. But after speaking his mind about society’s ills (as well as hiring a Klan member to endorse his White opponent) this underdog seems to be the rise. So it's easy to see that he had to do a little bit of Republican dirty tricks to get into the white house but hey, whatever gets you in the door. What's not to like about Chris Rock as President? He tells it like it is and is funny as all hell. I'd elect him a second time around.

President Darth Vader... er... um.. Douglas Dilman - "The Man" (1972)

The Lion King was once the President. Yeah, that's right. Darth Vader was the first black screen president. When the President and Speaker of the House are killed in a building collapse, and the Vice-President declines the office due to age and ill-health, Senate President pro tempore Douglas Dilman (James Earl Jones) suddenly becomes the first brother in the Oval Office. The events from that day to the next election when he must decide if he will actually run challenge his skills as a politician and leader. To think that in 1972 the very idea of a black man in the Oval Office to 2008 when we actually will have one seems like they're a life time apart. I'm really glad that we made it to this day.

President Beck - "Deep Impact"

And finally we have one of the most dignified Presidents around. Sure James Earl Jones has the voice, but Morgan Freeman has both that and the look. But talk about shit luck. Instead of hearing him talk to us about the plight of penguins, Morgan Freeman is dealing with the East Coast getting wiped out when a comet is set to collide with planet Earth. President Beck here has devised a plan to save a million lucky people to keep the human race going. Who makes the list? Well, Beck does, of course. Talk about hope and change in a big way. At least Obama doesn't have to worry about any burning rocks from the sky in his administration.. Wait, what's this?

Meteor Shower Could Spur Bright Fireballs

The Taurid meteors, sometimes called the "Halloween fireballs," show up between mid-October and mid-November, but Nov. 5 to 12 will likely be the best time to look for them this year, taking into account both their peak of activity and the effect of increasingly bright moonlight on viewing conditions.

After the Moon sets – around 11 p.m. local time on Nov. 5, later on subsequent nights – some 10 to 15 meteors may appear per hour. They are often yellowish-orange and, as meteors go, appear to move rather slowly. Their name comes from the way they seem to radiate from the constellation Taurus, the Bull, which sits low in the east a couple of hours after sundown and is almost directly overhead by around 1:30 a.m.

Meteors – popularly referred to as "shooting stars" – are generated when debris enters and burns up in Earth's atmosphere. In the case of the Taurids, they are attributed to debris left behind by Encke's Comet, or perhaps by a much larger comet that upon disintegrating, left Encke and a lot of other rubble in its wake.

Indeed, the Taurid debris stream contains noticeably larger fragments than those shed by other comets, which is why in certain years – and 2008 is predicted to be one – this rather elderly meteor stream occasionally delivers a few unusually bright meteors known as "fireballs."

Oh well. Looks like we're heading into a Deep Impact situation. It'll at least be nice and bright as we get blown up. My regret here is that I had hoped we'd be getting a Chris Rock comedy for the next four years.

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