“Unleash Chang”

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In 2005, in a ceremony that officially designated then-state Rep. Marco Rubio as the first Cuban-American House speaker in Florida history, then-governor Jeb Bush stated in his speech:

“Chang is a mystical warrior. Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society. I rely on Chang with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side, and sometimes I let him down. But Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down.”

Then Bush presented Rubio a golden sword and explained its significance. “I’m going to bestow to you the sword of a great conservative warrior,” he said.

There’s just one problem. The inscription on the sword reads: “C-H-I-A-N-G,” not, “C-H-A-N-G.”

“Unleash Chiang” was the rallying cry of John Birchers, who in the 1950s urged the United States to arm Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese Nationalist leader, so he could retake Red China from Mao Zedong. The motto later became sports trash talk in the Bush family (like when George H.W. would warn from the baseline that he was about to “unleash Chiang” with his next serve).

Some journalists covering the Rubio ceremony did not recognize the allusion and wrote it up straight. Rubio himself clearly did not understand the story’s origins.

Robert Kinoshita

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The man who created Robby the Robot for the 1956 sci-fi classic, Forbidden Planet, died a few weeks ago. In addition to Robby the Robot, Robert Kinoshita also created the B-9 robot in Lost in Space and the robot Tobor from Here Comes Tobor. His other credits include Science Fiction TheaterHighway PatrolSea HuntBat MastersonMen Into SpaceThe Phantom PlanetHell’s Bloody DevilsHawaii 5-0Barnaby Jones, and Gene Roddenberry’s pilot, Planet Earth. Kinoshita died on Dec. 9, 2014 at a nursing care facility in Torrance, CA. He was 100.

For more: Robert Kinoshita, Robot Designer for ‘Forbidden Planet’ and ‘Lost in Space,’ Dies at 100.

(Photo credit: Angry Asian Man)

Data

In this age of data mining, collecting and breaches, it’s easy to get paranoid. Yes, the amount of data that’s being culled and collating is unprecedented. Technology has enabled that. But paranoia aside, there are people doing good work with all this data that’s out there. Take Nate Silver and his team at Five Thirty Eight for example. Silver and his associates strive to put data in context and then glean meaning from the noise. This is what they did with regards to President Obama’s proposed executive action on the immigration issue: http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/every-immigration-related-executive-action-of-the-last-58-years/.

Bravo, Tim Cook

Tim Cook, the CEO of the world’s most valuable company, Apple, wrote a succinct, poignant essay in Bloomberg Businessweek:

While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me…

…When I arrive in my office each morning, I’m greeted by framed photos of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. I don’t pretend that writing this puts me in their league. All it does is allow me to look at those pictures and know that I’m doing my part, however small, to help others. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.

It’s probably too much to think that Tim Cook’s essay will put the LGBT issue to rest once and for all, but it should help. Josh Tyrangiel, the editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, when asked how this news will affect Apple’s business, said that the desire for Apple products will trump any prejudices. iPhone for the win!

Marvel’s Expanding Universe

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Marvel Studios dropped some big news today. At the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, the company unveiled “Phase Three”–a slate of movies it plans to release for the next five years. Here’s the list:

Avengers: Age of Ultron, May 1, 2015
Ant-Man, July 17, 2015
Captain America: Civil War, May 6, 2016
Doctor Strange, Nov. 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2, May 5, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok, July 28, 2017
Black Panther, Nov. 3, 2017
Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1, May 4, 2018
Captain Marvel, July 6, 2018
Inhumans, Nov. 2, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2, May 3, 2019

Infinity War!

Your move, DC.

Update: Oh, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has been moved up the schedule. It was originally scheduled for July 28, 2017.

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Apple Pay Battle

I would agree with John Gruber here. Some retailers have no vision. It’s taken this long for anyone to viably implement mobile payment and now these retailers will disable their own NFC point of sale system just to attempt to thwart Apple Pay. Their own solution: a convoluted mess using QR codes.