Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Sunday, February 5, 2017

2017 Blackwell-San Jose Oscar Party

Filed under: Film and Entertainment,Performing Arts,Popular Culture — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 13:47

It’s that time of year again! The 2017 Annual Academy Awards are here, which can only mean one thing! TIME TO PARTY!! The Oscar event of the year has been announced–The 2017 Annual Blackwell-San Jose Oscar Party celebrating the Academy Awards will be held starting at 6:00pm on February 26th! Official invites to the event were sent via FaceBook Events Invite or through personal Email. So check your FaceBook or Email and see you there!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Daredevil Teens Evade Security to Scale NYC Skyscraper Construction Site

Filed under: Popular Culture — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:17

WOW! Hold your breath and feel your hands get sweaty watching these teens scale a skyscraper construction site in NYC. You might want to take a Xanax or down a glass of wine first. NYC FireWire reports:

All 5 boro’s of NYC offer a range of challenges emergency responders must face on a daily basis. From Manhattan’s sky scrapers above ground to below grade Subway lines, Staten Island shipping container terminal or even a private dwelling in the Bronx which holds the unknown such as a drug den like the one that took the life of FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy in September, 2016. FDNY Firefighters have to be on their toes and ready to handle whatever is thrown their way. Aside from buildings, we also have all walks of life, including ones who feel important enough to evade security at a Central Park South High Rise being built. An urban exploer posts videos on youtube of his tresspassing adventure into Manhattan’s High Rises and puts himself into precarious positions just for the thrill of it. Unfortunately, those that must respond in the event he should become trapped or injured on one of these journeys, don’t see the thrill the way he does. This puts responders in a position they are trained for, but never wish to have to execute. Should the thrill seekers selfish acts fail, it will tie up highly trained technical rescue resources and put members at risk of their own.

His events call to question the integrity of the security hired to secure the buildings he gained access to. This leaves NYC’s huge buildings vulnerable. In this day in age, this is completely unacceptable.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sail On! Sail On! Great Ship… TITANIC!

Filed under: Performing Arts,Popular Culture — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 02:36


103 years ago today, TITANIC, the ship of dreams, struck an iceberg and sunk to the icy depths of the North Atlantic. Over 1,500 souls were lost when TITANIC sank. The sheer number of deaths made it one of the most deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in modern history. And the story of the tragedy has been told through just about every medium of entertainment imaginable. Perhaps one of the most unique means by which the story of TITANIC has ever been conveyed came in 1997, when a musical based on the doomed ship’s maiden voyage opened on Broadway.

What most would consider to be an event incapable of being recreated to music and acted out on a stage instead went on to become a major award-winning hit show that ran for close to 3 years. TITANIC: A New Musical swept the Tony Awards, taking home the coveted prize for Best Musical in addition to four other awards for Best Book, Best Orchestrations, Best Scenic Design, and Best Original Score. The show has been produced internationally countless times; and this Summer, it will play a pre-Broadway revival at the Princess Wales Theater in Toronto, Canada. Below, watch the opening (and finale) of the breath-taking concert version staged at Lincoln Center in 2013. And Sail On… Sail On… Great Ship… TITANIC!

Remembering the Dogs of the TITANIC

Filed under: Popular Culture — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 02:14

CptSmith The Dogington Post published a GREAT article written by Brandy Arnold about the dogs that survived (and perished) aboard the TITANIC, which sunk 103 years ago today. It’s worth a read and has been reposted here courtesy of The Dogington Post:

April 15th will mark 103 years after the famed “unsinkable ship” struck an iceberg in the north Atlantic, sinking on its maiden voyage to America. But, did you know there were at least 12 dogs aboard the Titanic? It is suspected that many more dogs were on board that day, but because they were listed as cargo in the ship’s records, most details have been lost. It has been said that Titanic had excellent kennel facilities, even planning a dog show for April 15th, the very day that the ship went down. While the world is remembering the tragic events of April 15th, we’re taking a moment to honor and remember the dogs of the Titanic. As reported by Yahoo! News, of the 12 confirmed dogs on the Titanic, only 3 survived the shipwreck – all of which were small dogs, 2 Pomeranian and 1 Pekingese, easily hidden inside a blanket or coat and carried into the limited space on lifeboats.

One Pomeranian named Lady, bought by Miss Margaret Hays while in Paris, shared the cabin with and was wrapped in a blanket by Miss Hays when the order was given to evacuate. The Rothschilds owned the other Pomeranian, and the Pekingese, named Sun Yat-Sen, was brought on board by the Harpers (of the N.Y. publishing firm, Harper & Row).

The ship’s captain, Capt. Smith, has been seen photographed on board Titanic with his dog, a large Russian Wolfhound named Ben. However, Ben only spent one night on the ship, before it left the dock, and was returned home to Capt. Smith’s daughter. In a particularly touching account, one passenger, 50-year old Ann Elizabeth Isham, was said to have visited her Great Dane in the ship’s kennels daily. At one point, Isham was seated in a life boat, but when told that her dog was too large to join her, she exited the boat. Her body was found several days later, clutching onto her dog in the icy waters.

Only first class passengers were permitted to bring dogs on board the ship. A few of those passengers were, Helen Bishop and her Toy Poodle named Frou-Frou, millionaire John Jacob Astor and his Airedale named Kitty, Robert Daniel and his French Bulldog, Gamin de Pycombe, William Carter and his family brought along two dogs – a King Charles Spaniel and an Airedale, Harry Anderson was joined by his Chow-Chow (aptly named Chow-Chow), and many other 4-legged passengers who remain unknown, including a Fox Terrier named simply, Dog. Helen Bishop survived the Titanic, later reporting that her dog, Frou-Frou latched onto her dress with his teeth when she left him in their cabin. She reportedly said, “The loss of my little dog hurt me very much. I will never forget how he dragged on my clothes. He so wanted to accompany me.”

In a fortunate turn of events, one passenger, Charles Moore of Washington, DC, had planned to transport up to 100 English Foxhounds via the Titanic, but made arrangements on a different vessel at the last minute. Two other dogs avoided disaster when they disembarked with their owners at Cherbourg, the ship’s first stop after leaving Southampton. It’s hard to imagine being any part of this terrible tragedy, even harder to imagine having to make the decision to leave your dog when the ship began to sink… Would you have been able to do it?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Russian Kids Climb Ridiculously Tall Bridge Without Safety Harness

Filed under: Popular Culture — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:28

cb71dfcce3031f97fc8843bcb8890a4bdcee53a2-russian-teenagers-climb-russky-island-bridge-video.jpgThis video has to be watched to be believed! This video was made by a small group of teenagers who scaled the Russky Island Bridge in Vladivostak. Russian authorities didn’t find the stunt to be particularly entertaining. All three of the teens were fined 300 rubles and charged with trespassing. Take a look at the absolutely terrifying video below:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Amazing “It Gets Better” Video Set to Lady GaGa’s “Hair”

Filed under: GLBT Social Issues and Civil Rights,Popular Culture — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:06


Colton Boettcher, a gay young-adult in Wisconsin has produced probably the best “It Gets Better” video I’ve seen yet! Set to Lady GaGa’s hit single “Hair” from her album Born This Way, the video touches on many issues relevant to today’s GLBT youth. Bullying, taking a same-sex date to the prom, forgiveness, and redemption are just some of the qualities present in the video. The “It Gets Better” campaign was started in September 2010 by Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller as a way to promote suicide prevention of gay teens. Research shows that gay teens have the highest suicide rates of any group of people in the United States. The campaign was designed to show gay youth that after the tumultuous and pressure-filled years of adolescence (particularly the high school years where gay teens are often bullied and subjected to teasing and ridicule), life does in fact “get better” for gay men and lesbians. 2010 saw a remarkable number of gay teenage suicides and “It Gets Better” videos have been made by thousands of people, including celebrities, athletes, politicians, and average everyday people who are none of these. Take a look at this AMAZING “It Gets Better” video below. And if you know a gay teen who is suffering from ridicule at school or anywhere else, take a stand for him or her and let the bullies know, THAT is NOT cool!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oakley Opens Massive O-Store in Times Square

Filed under: Popular Culture — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 02:02

  Oakley opened a new Oakley Factory Store in the middle of Times Square in New York City on April 9th, 2011. The store is one of the largest in Oakley’s history and even includes a service bar that allows customers to completely customize their pair of Oakley sunglasses. Here’s the Press Release direct from Oakley:

Oakley celebrated the opening of its Oakley Store in New York’s Times Square with a grand opening event on April 9th. The Times Square store features an Oakley Custom bar to give customers the opportunity to create their own renditions of Oakley eyewear and goggles. An onsite etching machine allows customers to personalize their designs with engraving. Oakley has earned worldwide acclaim for seamlessly blending form and function, and the store features the newest fashions and technologies from the Perform Beautifully collection made for active women. Golfers have access to the latest styles and the best innovations for performance and comfort because the outlet carries a full selection of Oakley’s renowned golf apparel and footwear.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

UBC Lip Dub a MUST See!

Filed under: Popular Culture — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:35

 Close to a thousand students of the University of British Columbia Vancouver put together an AWESOME lip dub performance of Pink’s latest hit “Raise Your Glass.” This video is a MUST see and reminds me how blessed I am to be a college professor. To have the opportunity to work with enthusiastic, talented, and spirited students is an honor! Take a look at this video. You won’t be disappointed!

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