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SEATTLE - Have you ever seen music? I mean seen with your eyes the lunging energy of rock? Or the wail of blues? Or the joyful syncopation of ragtime? Have you ever seen music actually take on visual shape and architectural form? I have. I saw music transformed into wild, swoopy, fantastical shapes and spaces at the Experience Music Project, the new rock music museum in Seattle, Washington. The building is music as architecture and an architecture that becomes singularly musical.

Because the trustees of the Japanese American National Museum come from across the nation, we move our board meetings around the country. This quarter, the meeting moved to Seattle. So, while we were in town, we had the opportunity to visit, alas, only too briefly, the museum that is the sensation of Seattle and of the museum world.


Situated right next to the landmark Space Needle and a children's play land, with an elevated people mover system gliding right through it, the Experience Music Project is a structure that seems to have swelled up organically around its fanciful setting. It is an architectural crescendo of bright colors, wild forms and pulsating rhythms. Frank Gehry, the architect of the much-lauded Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, is the master-builder whose imagination produced this fantastical composition in ripples, swoons and hard rock riffs.

The inner workings of this singular structure are as futuristic as its architecture, dare I say, as high tech as the starship Enterprise. Everything runs on fiber optic sensitivity. On entering, I was fitted with what can only be called a Star Fleet tricorder, a set of earphones and handed a device like a TV remote control. You point the remote to a number on an exhibit and you hear either music or narrative. For me, all this advanced technology became simply a nostalgic transporter that took me back in time to my teen-age days of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, and, later, the Beatles and Ramsey Lewis. Cutting edge technology was my vehicle for a sentimental journey back to music that defined a time, a mood and sentiments that no longer exist today.

Another part of the museum, however, is hands on immediacy. I became the drummer in a virtual rock band performing in a huge virtual concert hall.

Members of my band were made up of -- would you believe -- the trustees of the Japanese American National Museum! Our lead singer was Dr. Margaret Oda, a professor of education and an elegant lady. The virtual curtain parted to the deafening roar of a raucously expectant rock crowd. The music started and it was as deafening as the cheering from the virtual audience. I began drumming away wildly. Dr. Oda wailed out "wild thingďż˝" like a rock legend. In the frenzy of my drumming, I lost my grip and my drumstick went flying off into the darkness. Dr. Oda continued wailing "wild thing." The music came down to a crashing crescendo. The sound of the wildly cheering crowd turned riotous. And the virtual curtain came down. Our concert was over. As we stepped out of the chamber, we were each handed a copy of the poster of our rock band taken as we were performing. It was rockin' good fun. The Board of Trustees meeting that followed seemed more energized than usual.

After our two-day board meeting, on my way back to Los Angeles, I stopped off in Portland, Oregon, for another wonderful event. It touched on three concerns that are important to me -- historic preservation, medical research and, inevitably, Star Trek.

The Friends of the Parkinson's Center of Oregon is an organization dedicated to research in finding a preventative and cure for Parkinson's disease. The organization's mission is to find creative ways to raise funds to support this important research. They knew the combination of baits to attract me. They combined their efforts with another dedicated group known as the Oregon Film and Video Foundation. This group of passionate people is committed to the revitalization of an historic movie palace. Built in 1925, the Hollywood Theater has a richly Byzantine exterior with an ornate rococo tower. In 1983, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With so many of these unique palaces of entertainment having been lost throughout the nation, the Oregon Film and Video Foundation's effort to restore and bring new life to this beautiful movie house was something not only to be applauded but actively supported.

For the combined fund-raiser, the two organizations had decided to screen my favorite Star Trek movie, "Star Trek VI, The Undiscovered Country." It was an irresistible package. And the evening turned out to be an enchanting success. Yes, it was a kind of Star Trek convention. The Klingon nation, as well as the Federation, was well represented. There were the expected photo ops. There was the usual and unending autograph line. I signed until past 11:30 p.m. But this was a different kind of Star Trek convention. The proceeds went to support the revitalization of a beautiful historic legacy and the fueling of research to cure a dreaded disease. May the good spirit of philanthropy live long and prosper in Portland, Oregon.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Have you ever been reading a book, watching a movie, or even sitting down for a fantastical cartoon and began to salivate when the characters dig into some doozy of a made up food?

You're not alone.

Food is apparently fertile ground for creativity. Authors, movie directors, and animators all can't help but put a little extra time and effort into the process of making characters' tasty delights mouthwatering even for audiences on the other side of the screen.

Read on for a perfect mixture of nostalgia and hunger.

AllWhammyNoMorals asked, "What's a fictional food you've always wanted to try?"

Some people were all about the magical foods eaten in the magical places. They couldn't help but wish they could bite into something with fantastical properties and unearthly deliciousness.

Nutritious

"Enchanted golden apple" -- DabbingIsSo2015

"The Minecraft eating sounds make me hungry" -- FishingHobo

"Gotta love that health regeneration" -- r2celjazz

"Pretty sure those are based off the golden apples that grant immortality. Norse mythology I think?" -- Raven_of_Blades

Take Your Pick

"Nearly any food from Charlie and the Chocolate factory" -- CrimsonFox100

"Came here to say snozzberries!" -- Utah_Writer

"Everlasting Gobstoppers #1, but also when they're free to roam near the chocolate river and the entire environment is edible." -- devo9er

Peak Efficiency

"Lembas" -- Roxwords

"The one that fills you with just a bite? My fat a** would be making sandwiches with two lembas breads and putting bacon, avocado and cheese inside. Then probably go for some dessert afterwards. No wonder why those elves are all skinny, eating just one measly bite of this stuff." -- sushister

Some people got stuck on the foods they saw in the cartoons they watched growing up. The vibrant colors, the artistic sounds, and the exaggerated movements all come together to form some good-looking fake grub.

The One and Only

"Krabby patty 🍔" -- Cat_xox

"And a kelp shake" -- titsclitsntennerbits

"As a kid I always pretended burgers from McDonalds were Krabby Patties, heck from time to time I still do for the nostalgia of it all. Many of my friends did the same thing." -- Thisissuchadragtodo

Cheeeeeeeeese

"The pizza from an extremely goofy movie. The stringy cheese just looked magical lol" -- ES_Verified

"The pizza in the old TMNT cartoon as well." -- gate_of_steiner85

"Only bested by the pizza from All Dogs Go to Heaven." -- Purdaddy

Get a Big Old Chunk

"Those giant turkey drumsticks in old cartoons that characters would tear huge chunks out of. Those things looked amazing, turkey drumsticks in real life suck and are annoying to eat."

-- Ozwaldo

Slurp, Slurp, Slurp

"Every bowl of ramen on any anime, ever." -- Cat_xox

"Studio Ghibli eggs and bacon" -- DrManhattan_DDM

"Honestly, any food in anime. I swear to god half the budget no matter what the studio goes into making the food look absolutely delicious." -- Viridun

Finally, some highlighted the things that aren't quite so far-fetched, but still far enough away that it's nothing we'll be eating anytime soon.

That tease can be enough to make your mouth water.

What's In It??

"Butter beer" -- Damn_Dog_Inappropes

"came here to say this. i was pretty disappointed with the universal studio version which was over the top sweet. it was more of a butterscotch root beer. i imagine butter beer to be something more like butter and beer, which wouldn't be crazy sweet, but would have a very deep rich flavor" -- crazyskiingsloth

Slice of the Future

"The microwave pizzas in back to the future two" -- biggiemick91

"I've been fascinated with those for years! They just look so good!" -- skoros

As Sweet As They Had

"The Turkish Delight from Lion Witch & Wardrobe. The real ones I had weren't bad but nothing special." -- spoon_shaped_spoon

"Came here to say this. I know it's a real thing, but I always imagined that it must have been amazing to betray your siblings over." -- la_yes

"You're used to freely available too sweet sweets. For a WW2 era schoolkid, it would have represented all the sweets for an entire year." -- ResponsibleLimeade



Here's hoping you made it through the list without going into kitchen for some snack you didn't actually need.

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