colorI read this joke recently. I’d seen it before:

As a man was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife’s voice urgently warning him, “Frank, I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on the Interstate. Please be careful!”
“It’s not just ONE car,” said Frank. “It’s HUNDREDS of them!”

It doesn’t ALWAYS happen, but I do TRY to see things from other people’s perspectives. Sometimes, I get a compelling narrative that butts up against my own.
***
For whatever reason, I never warmed to the Oscar Best Picture-winning movie Birdman. One of my oldest friends came out of a screening of the film the same day I saw another film, and she had exactly the same reaction as I did.

Yet, in my visit to one of the ABC Wednesday folks, Anita from India, wrote: Five Lessons from Birdman film. Among the observations: not resting on your laurels, and dealing with your inner voice. The piece is a wonderful contemplation, and I liked it much more than the film it touted.
***
I didn’t “get” the “what color is this dress” thing. Fortunately, my colleague sent me this story from Wired, which describes the science.

Another colleague noted, regarding the picture above: “Put your finger in the middle – Both panels are same color. It is the fact that the angle and highlighting make you believe the top is in the light and must be darker and the bottom is in the shadow and must be lighter.”
***
As a result of our conversation at church about white privilege in January, led by two of our members who are, not incidentally, white, one of my white church friends decided to engage his work colleagues about the topic; the result of this is that they looked at him as though he had three heads. Perhaps another reason why our white friends don’t talk about race.
***
The article in Salon with the provocative title Why the right hates American history has some really interesting notations about the change in in the American English language, which were instructive:

Living in the 18th Century, the Founders never would have actually used the word “privacy” out loud or in writing… The reason is simple: “privacy” in 1776 was a code word for toilet functions…
Instead, the word of the day was “security,” and in many ways it meant what we today mean when we say “privacy…”
Similarly, “liberty” was also understood, in one of its dimensions, to mean something close to what today we’d call “privacy.”

***
I’m still not going to read the book, thanks to SamuraiFrog’s painful and detailed review. But Jaquandor applauds EL James’s writing process for 50 Shades of Grey. Here’s a defense of its grammar.
***
As a business librarian, I am somewhat concerned that Tougher ozone standards could snuff out the recovery, businesses warn. Yet as a human being, I’m very concerned that weaker ozone standards could snuff out life as we know it, scientists warn. What to do, what to do?
***
Saturday Night Live had its 40th anniversary special last month. Haven’t watched more than seven minutes of the three-and-a-half-hour program, and I probably won’t. Didn’t watch the weekly show much in the past decade.

Yet I found myself reading several stories ABOUT the special, e.g., ‘Saturday Night Live': 20 Personal, Funny Tales. Not only is former cast member Gary Kroeger’s observations interesting, so is the rest of his blog; he MAY run for Congress as a Democrat from California.

I enjoyed Norm MacDonald’s tweets; my, he did not fare well in the ranking of all 141 cast members.
***
Dustbury cannot decide whether he’s impressed or depressed by the number of YouTube scenes he recognized.
***
A favorite quote of the week, from Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock Taught Us Acceptance Is Highly Logical:
“As a young black man and science fiction fan, I strongly identified with Spock’s struggles to fit in with his human coworkers as I struggled to fit in at mostly-white schools and workplaces. And I wouldn’t be surprised if other fans struggling to fit into their communities for different reasons felt the same bond.”

henry.wwi-johnson2Buried on page 98 of the 697-page H.R.3979, the Carl Levin and Howard P. ‘Buck’ McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, passed in December of 2014, it reads:

(b) HENRY JOHNSON.—
(1) WAIVER OF TIME LIMITATIONS.—Notwithstanding the time limitations specified in section 3744 of title 10, United States Code, or any other time limitation with respect to the awarding of certain medals to persons who served in the Armed Forces, the President may award the Medal of Honor under section 3741 of such title to Henry Johnson for the acts of valor during World War I Read the rest of this entry »

hortonk
JEOPARDY! episode #7008, aired 2015-02-18. Category: SEUSSIAN KEYWORDS

“Oom-pahs and boom-pahs” help this title elephant save folks from “Beezle-Nut oil”

“A ten-foot beard” & “a sleigh and an elephant” are said to be on this street

Sylvester McMonkey McBean dealt with “Star-Belly” & “Plain-Belly” these, who hung out “on the beaches”

“Flupp Flupp Flupp” & “the Father of the Father of Nadd” are found within his “500 Hats”

“Truffula Fruits”, “bar-ba-loot suits” & “Humming-Fish” are in the world of this title fella

Answers at the end.
***
I was delighted to discover that there were more Dr. Seuss stories, released in 2014, that had never been published in book form before.
Read the rest of this entry »

leonardnimoyIn light of Leonard Nimoy’s death on February 27, a not-unexpected event which nevertheless saddened me greatly, a couple family recollections.

When I was a teenager in Binghamton, NY, my father was a big fan of Star Trek, airing on NBC-TV in 1966-1969. He watched it every week, barring some meeting conflict. I’d wander into the living room, watch a scene or two, and walk away, bemused.
Read the rest of this entry »

dance_as_tho

How America’s Sporting Events Have Turned into Mass Religious Events to Bless Wars and Militarism. Amen.

The Weekly Sift analyzes what the Atlantic article “What ISIS Really Wants” gets right and gets wrong. Also, ISIS Bans Teaching Evolution In Schools in Mosul, as well as art, music, history, literature and, of course, Christianity.

American ISIS: The Domestic Terrorist Fallout of the Iraq War.

Melanie: A Modern Day Scarlet Pimpernel and Human Trafficking.

Something most Americans no little or nothing about: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the latest trade deal being cooked up in secret by big corporations and their lobbyists.
Read the rest of this entry »

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