BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A BITCOIN?

Over the past few weeks, (or maybe past few months, or possibly past few years), there has been a buzz over cryptocurrency. This is the kind of monetary form of money that isn’t anything like traditional paper money, or type of coinage. It’s what Wikipedia describes as …a digital currency designed to work as a medium of exchange through a computer network that is not reliant on any central authority, such as a government or bank, to uphold or maintain it.

Bitcoin was the first, if not one of the first, forms of crypto currently that was made available to the public at large. Since that time, there have been other forms that were brought to the attention of those that are either embraced over this new(er) form of exchangeable money, or something that folks are still attempting to find out about.

Since this year, attention to this method of money came to its center and front. During CBS’s airing of the Super Bowl, a number of cryptocurrency groups bought ad space to make their presence known. (We assume that those ad purchases were bought with good ol’ American-type dollars!!) Another company bought the naming rights to the stadium located in downtown Los Angeles that was formerly known as the Staples Center. (Staples, an office supply retail outlet competes with Office Depot where office supplies and related goods has changed its focus since the turn of the 21st Century!) And even some businesses are starting to accept this form of monetary exchange. But for the most part, there is a load of speculation on how solid crypto really is!

Yours truly may give away his age here, but I was brought up to appreciate, if not outright worship, the almighty American dollar and to a lesser extent, the coinage that goes along with those green wrinkly pieces of paper that have likenesses of presidents long dead and semi forgotten. I knew that having and holding those for said pieces of paper really made a difference. Having a dollar bill in your pocket was the standard. A five dollar bill was ideal. A ten spot was even better. A twenty dollar bill was the highest I ever got! A fifty dollar bill was nearly unmanageable. And a C-note? That kind of paper was something I only would see depicted on a TV show or feature film that was connected to some kind of heist, but never something that would be in my wallet!

When it comes to cyber currency, that to me is a big head scratcher. The younger set (those aged forty and less) might find it as so-called ‘real” money, a form of currency that can be used as part of an investment or a form of “credits” that goods and services could be bought and earned. But for a person like myself that was raised on another method of financial standards? It’s going to become a wait-and-see attitude.

This writer is expressing these facts because I have been offered to get into a few investment groups. I have been receiving solicitations through email as well as good old fashioned postal letters where if I attended a seminar, usually meeting in a local hotel’s meeting space, I can find the real low down to what cyber currency is all about. And if I made an RSVP through the company’s secured website, I can get a 100 credit bonus as a “free” gift.

That’s right folks! If I just showed up to hear about a spiel on their latest and greatest crypto offer, I could get a 100 of these crypto pieces of data! So what am I really waiting for?

Well, I do want to thank you for this offer. However, I feel that cryptocurrency is a bit new to me. And take it from those that might get into this deal. They may become rich by investing in such a coinage, even if there isn’t any “coin” per se. It may be the next big thing, or it may become the next big “thing”. But as of right now, I’m going to take this as an offer that I’m going to refuse!

However, don’t let me stop you in any way! If you want to get into the cryptocurrency market, then have at it! I sincerely hope that you do make a lot of money through these opportunities. However, on the same side of the coin (no puns intended), you may wind up with a lot of space in your cyberspace. Your digital wallets may be just that–digital wallets and nothing more!

I am not anything close to being an expert in finances. I am not even an amateur in this market! So whatever I write about in these columns is just my opinion, and take that opinion for what it’s worth. Then again, I could invest in getting selected Pokemon trading cards. After all, if that person that received a large sum of money (traditional American money that is) from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program loan program to purchase a rare (or rare in theory) Pokemon card, then so be it. And for the record, when the SBA found out that this person didn’t use the money into a business but instead got a Pokemon card with their given amount, the government ceased it! But what if that same person invested in something like Bitcoin? Then the feds would wind up with something invisible. But that debate is for another article, and don’t expect me to write about it!!

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Movie stunts are something that’s been depicted on screen ever since movie creation began. Long before those movies had soundtracks, action was the big thing depicted on those square screens. And responsible for that on camera action were a team of stuntmen as well as stunt women, although men tend to receive the credit for what they did, were the ones that drove those wild horses in westerns, jumped on and off fast moving trains, and drove the cars through narrow passageways for both comic and action reliefs. They also fell down high spaces, got involved in fights, set themselves on fire, and nearly risked their lives performing just for the sake of showing off how this movie would be exciting, nerve racking, and even comical, all to get up from their they landed to brush themselves off, only to do it all again in another take or another scene.

Scott McGee writes about those that were the real stars of these action/adventure and even comic films that graced the big and bigger screens in the book DANGER ON THE SILVER SCREEN, 50 Films Celebrating Cinema’s Greatest Stunts. (Running Press). Here, the author examines fifty of these titles, from the 1920 United Artists release of Way Down East (Directed by D.W. Griffith) to Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, released by Sony Studios in 2017. There are the stories and anecdotes told behind in what made these movies just what they were with all of its action taking place. It was this team of stunt people that were in charge of depicting the falls, fights, and to control and drive the fast moving objects that were depicted while the real stars got all the credit, glory, and even awards for something their character did, but not necessarily for what the stars did themselves. Of course a few of these people, such as Buster Keaton in Steamboat Bill, Jr., Harold Lloyd in Safety Last, Douglas Fairbanks in The Black Pirate, and Steve McQueen behind the wheel of his ’68 Ford Mustang Mach I in Bullitt actually did what they did. And there were movies that made these films what they were when it came to dramatic action with Ben Hur (both the silent and sound versions,), the Indiana Jones series, The James Bond collection, and even movies that were comic in nature with car chases! (From It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Blues Brothers, and plenty more!

Loaded with behind the camera stories and photos to go along with them, this book gives credit to those that did all of the action. In the early days, not one stunt person received screen credit for what they did, and this book presents that homage to those that did what they did “going big”. And even though special effects can take up much of the slack in what is depicted on screen, a movie director will insist that there are real people to take their falls. And when watching these movies, it’s never a good idea to attempt to recreate these stunts on your own. That is why stunt folks are professionals. Leave it up to them to become the “fall guys” (and “fall gals”) in moviedom. Just sit back and enjoy.

Of course, Scott McGee was only able to cram in fifty titles that show off the best in stunts. Some titles are well known while a few have been passed over through the years. But one thing for sure. If one admires the work of these stunt folks, then this book is a great companion to have when watching (or rewatching) these films. And the folks at TCM, the cable/screaming channel that shows off these movies from not so long ago, is behind this book title. After all, drama is one thing. Action, thrills, and the stunts behind it all are another!

DANGER ON THE SILVER SCREEN is available where books are sold and exchanged both in person and online.

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