Open thread: Little Blue Dot

e08dac3e48811d0832f1fd8e5900af39Good Evening

My, the British press has been busy today, but I am not going to mention or link to any royal baby news…the only English thing I am paying attention to tonight is watching the film Georgy Girl that I had taped earlier this week. (Love that movie…don’t you?)

Alright, such sad news this afternoon: R.I.P. Dennis Farina: How a Chicago cop became a character actor

( CBS / August 12, 1998 ) Dennis Farina, a former Chicago cop who played a cop on “Law & Order,” has died.

Dennis Farina, who died Monday morning at the age of 69 of a blood clot in his lung, had two distinct careers. He was a veteran Chicago police officer until a chance meeting with director Michael Mann, who was in the Windy City to make his first feature film, 1981’s “Thief,” changed his career path.

In a 2001 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Farina joked that he “blamed” Mann for turning him into an actor. The two had a mutual friend, a retired cop, who was a writer on “Thief.”

“Michael is a Chicago guy anyway,” Farina said. “He says he wants to talk to some real-life characters. I talked to him, and he asked me to do a part in the movie. I said, yes, sure.”

But he still didn’t give up his day job as a cop. Mann gave him a guest-starring role on his landmark NBC series “Miami Vice” and then cast him as FBI agent Jack Crawford in his 1986 thriller, “Manhunter.”

It wasn’t until he landed the starring role in Mann’s atmospheric NBC detective series “Crime Story” in 1986, as Chicago Det. Mike Torrello, that Farina finally turned in his badge and retired from the police force.

Though his acting career saw him mostly in tough-guy roles — notably as mobster Jimmy Serrano in the Robert De Niro-Charles Grodin film “Midnight Run” — Farina proved to be a versatile character actor, playing Jennifer Lopez‘s concerned dad in Steven Soderbergh’s “Out of Sight,” Bette Midler’s ex-husband in the 1997 comedy “That Old Feeling” and an Army officer in Steven Spielberg‘s World War II epic, “Saving Private Ryan.”

Farina said that he went out of his way to avoid typecasting. “I think it would be kind of boring to do the same things,” he said. “I think the idea of acting is to spread your wings a little bit. I was so grateful for ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and ‘Snatch‘ and things like that.”

And he loved being a character actor. “I think it’s a nice compliment. I accept it with all humility.”

Farina admitted that he never had acting aspirations until he got that call from Mann.

“I was always a movie fan. As a kid, we would go to the neighborhood theater and watch Bogart movies and Cagney movies and stuff like that. I never thought I would be doing what I’m doing.”

I always thought Farina was an awesome actor, but I never knew he was a cop for 18 years in Chicago.  What a loss, and so sad it came soon after the unexpected death of James Gandolfini.

There is a quick update about the rape victim case in Dubai: Sentence dropped for woman jailed in Dubai after rape claim

And some good news for women in North Dakota: Federal judge blocks N. Dakota’s most restrictive abortion law

Take a look at this beautiful women…can you guess who it is?



Check it out: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Looked Amazing In 1953

…this incredible image of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she was a senior at Cornell in 1953…


One more link for you tonight.  NASA photos show Earth from vantage point of Saturn, Mercury

Photograph of Earth below Saturn’s rings taken by the Cassini spacecraft.(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

Most all of us have seen the photograph of Earth as the big “Blue Marble,” but what about a tiny “Blue Marble?”

That’s basically what is seen in the stunning new images released by NASA on Monday.

Taken with cameras from two interplanetary spacecrafts that are currently located near Saturn and Mercury, the images show what Earth looks like from hundreds of millions of miles away.

One color photograph taken from the Cassini spacecraft on July 19 shows the beige rings of Saturn hovering above a tiny bluish dot, which is Earth. In this image, Earth is nearly 900 million miles away.

Have a wonderful evening, and here is something to leave you with…hey there Georgy Girl!

This is an open thread.

7 Comments on “Open thread: Little Blue Dot”

  1. It is a Monday night? Right? It feels more like a Friday night to me. Anyway, y’all have a good night.

  2. Fannie says:

    1966…………….was a very good year……………..hey, wow, luv the photo of Ruth…….what a lady.

  3. cygnus says:

    Thanks for the NASA pictures too…it’s nice to have some perspective!

  4. NW Luna says:

    Love the solar system photos. I agree with cygnus. It’s good to know the Earth’s not the center of the universe. Just a tiny blue dot in that sea of immense black space, even seen from a spot well inside our own solar system. But even the center of the universe (if there is one, and if it could be found) would look pretty tiny viewed from the edges of the universe!

    Have a good night, all.