The dark hours before the storm: “Margin Call”

Hollywood’s scripts always call for a protagonist. Margin Call has none.

Raymond Alvarez: The film Margin Call has to be regarded as a distorted reflection of reality. Just as Michael Douglas stood before a soon-to-be-fired audience in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street, declared greed good, rationalization has become a mainstay. At the end of the day, we’re just cannon fodder.



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Immigrants, ‘we are a nation of laws” – A perspective shared from a descendant of the Cherokee

Raymond Alvarez: “We are a nation of laws.”

There was a time when another nation found itself confronted with unwanted visitors who ignored their laws. The people fought these squatters and went on to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Cherokee Nation initially lost its case, but won on subsequent appeal.



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Trust the Process

The process of creating art can take less than an hour or go well into extra innings, extending across years as the artist returns to a work that isn’t complete. Da Vinci’s beguiling Mona Lisa was a work in progress when he died.

Raymond Alvarez: Professionals and students alike may wonder what interest an artist/writer has in learning Ruby on Rails. My quick answer is it can’t hurt. The real answer is coming to me.



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Our Rosetta Stone

Raymond Alvarez:  Can you imagine the world if Mozart was unable to record his music? How tragic that would be to lose something that belongs to all generations.

Fortunately, his music survived to our day and has been masterfully reprised and recorded in different formats. I wonder, though, if we are not aware of or have forgotten the lesson of preserving Mozart’s music and the great trove of art and knowledge of civilization. A few have not.

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The Coming Wave of Entrepreneurship

The coming wave of entrepreneurship

Businesses will be launched by former auto workers, mortgage processors and others 

Traditionally it could be predicted that for every 100 people who join the ranks of the jobless, seven will attempt to start a business. Some find business niches, others invent and still others find a better way to do something markets are craving. Ingenuity and daring often are the catalyst for setting business and commerce in motion – though nothing overcomes inertia like the lure of cash.

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Altering Our Dependencies… one snip at a time

Altering Our Dependencies… one snip at a time 

My granddaughter, Dez, and I rarely see eye to eye. But we have a relationship where we are heavily dependant upon each other

I’m a bit like film director Robert Zemeckis who co-wrote the screenplay Back to the Future. I notice those little things that have disappeared, fond memories of my chilldhood, like service stations that actually had people who provided service.

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Year 2036: Mars colonization and a date with destiny

Year 2036: Mars colonization and a date with destiny

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson host of the NOVA scienceNOW PBS program

From a half billion kilometers away, the message was powerful. In 1994, fragments of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet slammed into Jupiter. The earth-size fireballs ejected into space were captured and relayed back to be seen again and again in Internet replay. The message: we need a foothold in space if our species is to survive.

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