Friday, January 20, 2012

Glitz, Glamor, Salt, Reasonable Profits Board

Hot topic around the Academy, SONY is making a picture about the "Maersk Alabama", the ship which in April 2009 was taken by pirates in the Mediterranean. Several midshipmen from the USMMA found out about the casting call in New York directed to "all merchant mariners". Although sea time (which the USMMA upperclassmen have) is recommended, at least two Plebes have been pre-screened and approved for the casting call. Word came through the vine that one of the directors wanted USMMA midshipmen participation in the casting. Although midshipmen from the USMMA and cadets from the other Maritime Academies regularly sail on US-flagged ships, including the Maersk Alabama, I'm not sure if any cadets were on board the ship at the time. SONY is casting mariners for authenticity (can you make a Hollywood actor look salty?), and their ability to provide knowledge to the filming crew and star actors, Tom Hanks included. Filming will be in Morocco this Spring.

Midshipmen who have received call-backs from the casting agent will get a long weekend to go to the casting call, and have a little time to relax in the City.

A link to the announcement of the casting call sent to the Alumni Foundation, which trickled down to midshipmen in 4th Company:

And an USMMA grad's take on being selected as a prime candidate for the role of 2nd Mate for the casting call:

It seems like the movie industry has come a long way in attentiveness to settings since they regularly featured skyscrapers in downtown DC (non-existent). Don't have a list of those movies which commit that venial sin, but Seth MacFarlene's cartoon sitcom "American Dad", based in Langley, VA, shows silhouettes of skyscrapers in rooftop scenes downtown.

And a little talk:
There's a soundbite going around Facebook about six members of Congress wanting to set up a presidential-appointed "reasonable profits board" for oil and gas companies to determine a reasonable profit, and tax everything- up to a rate of 100%- above that amount. Sounds like an FDR Plan from 1942. It seems as if the disbelief is aimed towards the "reasonable profits" quote, not the concept of having companies pay taxes on oil extracted (or shrinking R+D and "depletion" tax benefits).
With loosening of total state control over business, Cubans are embracing the capitalist spirit.

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