Dr. Strangelove, James Bond production designer, Ken Adam dies at 95

Ken Adam, the British production designer who gave “Dr. Strangelove” its cavernous War Room and James Bond supervillains their futuristic lairs, has died. He was 95.

Adam’s biographer, Christopher Frayling, said Adam passed away in his sleep Thursday at his home in London. Frayling called Adam “the greatest production designer for film, ever.”

MGM Studios and Eon Productions mourned the death of “our beloved friend” in a statement on the official James Bond Twitter account, hailing Adam as the person “who was so responsible for the visual style of the James Bond films.”

The Berlin-born Adam won two Academy Awards in a career that lasted into his 70s and spanned more than 70 films. He was revered for his indelible set artistry, including that for seven Bond movies. Adam was behind the Fort Knox vaults of “Goldfinger,” the iconic volcano hideaway of “You Only Live Twice” and Bond’s gadget-filled Aston Martin…

In the art of production design, Adam’s work on Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 classic is widely considered among the craft’s highest achievements. His enormous, expressionistic set evoked a bomb shelter with a circular, lamp-lit table in the middle, designed to suggest a poker table. It was here where Peter Sellers famously chastised a tussling Air Force general and Russian ambassador: “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the War Room!“…

Born Klaus Hugo Adam in 1921, Adam’s Jewish family fled Nazi Germany in 1934. They settled in London, where Adam became enraptured by German Expressionist films like “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.” He studied architecture, a background that would later prove useful for production design.

He volunteered during World War II and was one of only a handful of German-born pilots to fly for the Royal Air Force. Later, his flying experience would inspire the ejector seat of 007’s Aston Martin.

RTFA for the tale of an interesting and creative life. Adam is survived by his wife Maria Letizia, whom he married in 1952.

College goes on firearms lockdown

A New York college that went on lockdown over a report of a gun on campus says the weapon turned out to be a light saber.

Students and staff members at Farmingdale State College on Long Island were told to shelter in place Wednesday while police investigated a report that someone was assembling a rifle in a school parking lot.

College spokeswoman Kathryn Coley says the rifle was actually a “Star Wars” toy.

Farmingdale State is part of the State University of New York system. It has about 8,700 students some of whom – no doubt – know the difference between a rifle and a light saber.

“Post-racial” America thinks hanging a Black man is OK restaurant decor


Just another dangerous demonstrationBettmann/Corbis

Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen said they went to Joe’s Crab Shack in Roseville, Minn., last Wednesday night for a friend’s early birthday dinner when they looked down at their table and saw it: a photograph, embedded inside of the table, depicting the public hanging of a black man.

“It had a cartoon character saying, ‘All I said was “I didn’t like the gumbo,'” in a joking manner,” Williams said at a news conference Thursday…

Williams snapped a photo of the image titled “Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas, on April 12, 1895″ and contacted the Minneapolis chapter of the civil rights organization.

Ignite Restaurant Group, Joe’s Crab Shack’s parent company, has since apologized for what it described as an offensive photo…

While pleased that the photo was removed from the Roseville restaurant, Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima Levy-Pounds said in an interview Friday that “there are broader concerns about whether that type of racist decor exists in other Joe’s Crab Shack locations…”

Williams and Allen alerted the Roseville manager of the photo soon after they saw it.

“He was apologetic and understanding,” Williams said. But the pair already felt “sick, confused,” and left the restaurant.

The scene depicted in the Joe’s Crab Shack table was the public hanging of Richard Burleson, a black man, who was convicted of murdering J.G. McKinnon, a white man…

❝ “In 2016 we should not tolerate racist imagery in any of our establishment, let alone a family-friendly restaurant,” Levy-Pounds said. “It is our hope that incidents like this will not happen again, and that restaurants will be respectful of American American history and heritage, and not make a mockery of the oppression we have endured.”

Keep on rocking in the Free World.

Cartoon of the day

The fact remains the cowardice and opportunism of the Republican Party establishment has generated the “surprise” of the Trump phenomenon. This crap follows on logically from Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” to the proto-fascist foundations of the Tea Party.

Any number of progressive activists have predicted this for decades. Step-by-step the Republican Party has inexorably moved in the direction of a Mussolini-like corporatist/fascist party. Reliance on populism, racism, bigotry, sleazy economics, ignorant followers is nothing new. The projections have fallen into place like the small-minded, obedient legos of the Tea Party.

Matching the pace of the Right Wing has been the cowardice of the Democratic Party establishment. They’re challenged, now, by Bernie Sanders. They’re fighting like hell to prevent the grassroots changes he represents.

Americans in general don’t realize there is a liberal wing and a conservative wing on Wall Street. Those are the people who’ve owned the two old parties for decades, centuries. We’re witnessing a critical node when both wings face reformation, revolution, driven by the activists of their base. Or destruction. Neither wants any qualitative change. Not really.

My only question is will the Democrat establishment stand up and fightback on the side of the overwhelming mass of Americans of good will? Or does the prospect of economic democracy frighten them so much they’d rather capitulate?

Thanks, gocomics.org