The making of Star Wars

The documentary below was made in 1977 at the same time as the blockbuster hit was being filmed and takes us behind the scenes, with C-3PO and R2-D2 as our tour guides. It shows how the various special effects were produced at a time when CGI was not available. Interestingly, they do not reveal the actors behind Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2. The last was played by Kenny Baker who died last week at the age of 81.
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The danger of using rallies to gauge support

One of the things that candidates for office have to be cautious of is thinking that the enthusiastic response they get at large rallies is a sign of widespread overwhelming support for them and their policies. The people who attend rallies tend to be the die-hard fans and not representative of the population at large. And yet, it must be exhilarating to have large numbers of people cheer you on and the temptation can be irresistible to say things that make them respond even more enthusiastically.
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Triumph at the RNC

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog attended the Republican National Convention and spoke to media and delegates in his own inimitable style.

Triumph is funny. I find it interesting psychologically that when a puppet says something it is funnier than if the comedian operating the puppet (Robert Smigel) were to have said the same things himself. Perhaps the fun is in having people look at and respond to the puppet when the actual person speaking is right there next to it.
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‘alt-right’ goes mainstream

It is interesting how catchwords suddenly go mainstream. I had heard the word ‘alt-right’ on rare occasions before but it was just earlier this week that I noticed that NPR correspondents suddenly using the term repeatedly in describing the extreme right wing sphere. According to this article:

Alternative Right was the name of a website set up by “identitarian” Richard Spencer in 2010. The term has been embraced by those opposed to immigration, multiculturalism and globalism.

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French High Court overturns burkini ban

The French government has come under widespread ridicule for its burkini ban and commenter deepak shetty added a link to the various reactions around the globe. Meanwhile According to Newsweek:

France’s highest court has suspended a ban on the “burkini” in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet, in a decision likely to lead to the overturn of 30 more such bans in towns across France.

The Council of State judgment said that the ban had breached “fundamental freedoms.”

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The Clinton Foundation’s shady dealings

We are now at the stage in US presidential politics where partisanship kicks into high gear. People choose sides and which candidate they want to win and work towards that end. That is fine. The only problem is that once that decision is made, many people start to defend acts by their own candidate that they would condemn if done by the opponent. At that point, principled politics goes out the window as people start to defend the indefensible simply because their own person does it.
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