Rainbow Room still stuck in the clouds

The legendary Rainbow Room in New York remains in a state of limbo. 

The Rainbow Room first opened on October 3, 1934 on the 65th floor of the famous GE building in Manhattan, in Rockefeller Center.  It includes a revolving dance floor, a live big band orchestra, exquisite cuisine, spectacular art deco designs, and the most stunning view of the Manhattan skyline anywhere, particular at night. 

It was the ultimate elite supper club.  The most famous people in the world often dined and danced there. Since the art deco era, the best known Hollwood celebrities made stops at the Rainbow Room, to "see and be seen".  If you’re interested, check out the Wikipedia article about the Room

So why do we care here at Skere9?  Because of Doc Scantlin and His Imperial Palms Orchestra, and Chou Chou, who were the premiere performers there on the hottest night of the year:  New Year’s Eve, when tickets ran for $1,000 to $1,600 each, including caviar, truffles, champagne, and the "world’s best band", as Forbes magazine once called Doc and His Imperial Palms Orchestra.  Doc presents the ultimate entertainment experience, and the world’s most famous people knew that well and insisted he be their choice on New Year’s Eve.

But during the economic chaos of 2008, the operators of the Rainbow Room got involved in a legal dispute with the landlords, reportedly started by a huge rent increase – one report put the revised annual rent at $8.7 million.  A series of events have shut down the Room, with reports of remodeling and a planned reopening. 

But after a few years now, the Room appears to be stuck in a state of limbo.   Once in a while we hear a murmur that appears to be progress.  But then – nothing.

The New York Landmarks Commission named the Rainbow Room a  "New York City landmark" in October 2012.  But that doesn’t get it any close to opening.

The Rainbow Room’s website offers no clues.

But we’ll keep an eye on it.  

In the meantime, New York’s loss is Washington’s gain.  Doc and Chou Chou can now be found performing at local unique venues, like the Bethesda Jazz and Blues Supper Club, and the Carlyle Club.

Thanks to “bigdelboy” at Oracle Technology Forum

I just posted the following comment in a thread at the Oracle Technology Network forum, and I thought I’d repost it here, see below.

= = =

This is Steve O’Hearn, and thanks to bigdelboy for reposting the URL for the script download for my book, OCA Oracle Database SQL Expert Exam Guide: Exam 1ZO-047. I didn’t realize my earlier posts providing the URL were flagged as spam. You’re correct that I posted that URL in several forums at once. It’s unfortunate that whoever or whatever may have deleted my entries would’ve done so on behavior alone without regard for the content of the message.

Anyone can visit my blog at blog.corbinian.com and look for the “1ZO-047 SQL SCRIPTS” link and follow the instructions. And yes, the script download is limited to owners of the book itself. The script is worthless to anyone else anyway.

For anyone wondering about preparation for the exam, please note that my book includes 728 pages in 18 chapters, including one for each of the exam objectives, and each of those chapters includes the following:

– Text to address the exam objectives in detail
– A detailed chapter summary (“certification summary”)
– A through “two minute drill” reviewing the concepts of the chapter
– A “self-test” on the chapter, including 15 questions each, and each question is designed to match the pattern of the actual certification exam. This means that many questions are based on code samples, and all offer multiple choice answers.
– Detailed explanations for each “self-test” question and each and every answer – including an explanation as to why each answer is either right or wrong

In addition to all of this, the book also includes a complete 70-question practice exam at the end of the printed book.

And in addition to that, there’s another complete 70-question practice exam available online to owners of the book.

These exams are not included in the 728 pages of text. Altogether you’re getting over 1,000 pages of material with which to prepare for the exam.

The book really is a complete package for exam preparation. And judging by the volume of email I get from happy readers who are now certified, I dare say its very effective.

Good luck to you if you are studying for the exam! And please feel free to contact me with any comments or questions you may have. I’ve read that I’m apparently not allowed to post my email address here, but my blog website is listed above, and you can contact me via the blog.

– Steve

The state of spy drone imagery: Argus

“This is the next generation of surveillance … it is important for the public to know that some of these capabilites exist.”

These are the words of Yiannis Antoniades, designer of Argus, the world’s highest resolution camera with 1.8 billion pixels.  Antoniades is an engineer with BAE Systems and developed the camera under contract to DARPA.  The camera uses Wide Area Persistent Stare and shows an example of a 15-square-mile area video image that offers multiple drill-down capabilities.  Colored boxes highlight moving objects, including cars and people and even birds.  You can see a man waving his arms; the camera can see objects as small as six inches on the ground.

But is it being used now?  The answer to that question is “classified”, says the video.

Really?  THAT is classified? So why does that remind me of this clip from the 1980 film Airplane!:

For the record, the Argus video does state that it has, “for the first time … permission from the government to show some of these capabilities.”  So unless that claim is a lie, I don’t think it’s some rogue video.

It’s just an amazing advance in technology.

Great video of Doc Scantlin at the Ronald Reagan Building

This is a great video of Doc Scantlin and His Imperial Palms Orchestra at the beautiful Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, in Washington, DC, on Pennsylvania near the White House. This was probably around 2004 or 2005 or so, not sure but I saw Doc there many times and am very happy to find this at YouTube:

Pretentious Rock Stars and “She’s chopping broccoli”

This is the Saturday Night Live audition of legendary comic Dana Carvey. He performed with the cast of SNL back in the days when the show was actually good – yes, it’s true, it used to be an entertaining show! This audition became the basis of a hysterical skit he would do later in the show when actress Sigourney Weaver appeared as a record company agent, it was one of my all-time favorite skits the show ever did.

This audition of Carvey’s showcases the central joke of that skit, it’s great.

A little known fact: Sigourney Weaver is the daughter of NBC executive Pat Weaver. According to her bio at the Internet Movie Database, her birth name is Susan, and she reportedly took the stage name Sigourney after a character from the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatbsy.

Vietnam POW still alive? New documentary say “yes”!

A new documentary claims to have a found a US Army Vietnam veteran still living in Vietnam who was listed as Killed In Action (KIA) over 40 years ago.  US Army Sgt. John Hartley Robertson was shot down in 1968.

The filmmakers of Unclaimed were in Vietnam recently when they heard rumors of a man believed by locals to be a surviving US Army veteran.  The filmmakers went through some effort to locate him, and when they did, he didn’t appear to have any memory of his old life or his family.  But he remembered being shot down, captured, and tortured for a year, then being released into the jungle.  And the man’s memories and circumstances matched the facts of the Roberton case.

British and Canadian news sources report that filmmakers arranged a reunion with Robertson’s surviving sister, 80 year old Jean Robertson Holly, and she told the Toronto Star: “There’s no question. I was certain it was him in the video, but when I held his head in my hands and looked in his eyes, there was no question that was my brother”.   Robertson reportedly recognized his brother-in-law and said “Oh, I remember, you worked in the drugstore.”  He was correct; the brother-in-law had been a pharmacist for 50 years.

If all true, this is a stunning development.

I learned of this story last night from an email sent to me containing a link to a Newsmax article.  The article references a source article at The Independent in the United Kingdom.  From there, I tried to visit the film’s website and it was slammed, I first received MySQL error messages and nothing else.  I wonder if it were receiving major traffic that night?  This has the potential to be a huge story.  After a few repeated attempts to access the website, I eventually managed to bring it up, and from there I found the official trailer, which is actually hosted at YouTube, here it is:

My father was in Vietnam about the time of Robertson’s disappearance.  I had two dear uncles there about the same time, one in the Green Berets – like Robertson – and another in the 82nd Airborne.  Even my mother travelled to Saigon for a period of time in 1967.  This poor man could’ve been a family member of mine.

Unclaimed will be screened at the 2013

GI Film Festival

in Washington, DC this month.