The All Hallows Eve Conspiracy

The church organist played the postlude, which was Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. My absolute favorite chords, possibly in all music, appear in the last minute and a half. My wife asked if I were crying…


OK, what’s up with the change of Daylight Saving Time a couple years ago? Most countries in the Northern Hemisphere changed their clocks today, if they had not done so earlier. The former nations that were in the USSR, Europe, Lebanon, Iraq, Cuba, Mexico all change today …you can see the list HERE. And what are the countries that are holding off changing the clocks until NEXT weekend?

The United States and Canada. I blame the candy companies. By pushing the “fall back” until the following weekend, it assures more light for Halloween, thus more trick-or-treaters, and thus more candy sold. And the dentists are in on the plot, too!

In fact, here is the Halloween Duplex Planet: one song called Halloween by Duplex Planet, and six recollections of old people remembering the holiday. Note in Greed that the conspiracy theory is alive and well.

I was at church a couple of Sundays ago, and the organist, Nancy, played the postlude, which was Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. My absolute favorite chords, possibly in all music, appear in the last minute and a half. My wife asked if I were crying, and the answer was absolutely yes. Here’s an organ version and an orchestral version from the movie Fantasia (1940). And since I was in a Fantasia mood, how about Night on Bald Mountain?

From Ken Levine: The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in Halloween. So the one night of the year when people would actually open their doors to them, they stay home.
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Dance of Death.

Happy Halloween Day from Sesame Street.

Peanuts: BOO!

From 1910, this is the first screen version of Frankenstein. It’s less than 13 minutes long; check out this piece of history.

Freaky Frankenstein Friday.

The World’s Most Haunted Places.

Talk about laziness: Me linking to Progressive Ruin linking to OTHER people’s stuff.

Reformation Rap QUESTION

I’ve long wondered what God did think of all of the different denominations, some created more by differences of style than of doctrine. Is God pleased with the diversity of worship experiences, or is She really ticked off?


It’s Reformation Sunday tomorrow. As a long-time Methodist, I had no idea what that meant and had barely heard of it. But now, as a Presbyterian, in a church in the “Reform tradition,” it’s a bigger deal. It commemorates the day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to a church door.

Someone sent me this a couple of days ago:
We religious instruction teachers are always looking for ways to engage the students. In my class last year, I likened Martin Luther’s dilemma to: how would they (the students) feel, if they came home to find their families imprisoned and tortured, and it won’t stop until they say that Sammy Hagar was Van Halen’s better frontman? We’d all agreed, beforehand, that Van Halen’s a great band, “but you MUST renounce Diamond Dave, and embrace Sammy, or you’ll get your dad’s OTHER EAR in ANOTHER package!” They stood up at their table, and shouted & pointed in my face, and I had soooo much fun getting them all stirred up while humming “Why Can’t This Be Love?” and dissing the tune to “Panama…” It’s why I teach 🙂

There was also a link to something called the 95 Theses, a 2007 rap done to the tune of Jay-Z’s 99 Problems. I’ve provided three links; the third starts with a short commercial.

95 Theses
95 Theses
95 Theses

Found these lyrics in several places, including here:

If you havin’ Church problems then don’t blame God, son
I got ninety-five theses but the Pope ain’t one.

Listen up, all my people, it’s a story for the telling
’bout the sin and injustice and corruption I been smelling:
I met that homie, Tetzel, then I started rebelling…
One Five One Seven – that’s when it first went down.
Then the real test was when it started spreading around.
Sixty days to recant what I said? Father, please!
You’ve had, what? Goin’ on fifteen centuries?
“Oh snap, he’s messin’ with the holy communion.”
But I ain’t never dissed your precious hypostatic union!…

I was struck most by this section:

But you forgot about me and my demonstration?
Like you can just create your own denomination?
“We don’t like this part, so we’ll just add a little twist.”
Now we Anglican, Amish, and even Calvinist.
I gave you the power, you gone and abused it.
I gave you God’s truth, you just confused it.

I’ve long wondered what God did think of all of the different denominations, some created more by differences of style than of doctrine. Is God pleased with the diversity of worship experiences, or is She really ticked off? What do YOU think?

Shout out to Johann Gutenberg … I see you baby.

October Ramblin’

Tegan and Johnny Bacardi have been blogging EIGHT years!

From a friend of a friend:

Today I don’t have to think about those who hear “terrorist” when I speak my faith.
Today I don’t have to think about men who don’t believe no means no.
Today I don’t have to think about how the world is made for people who move differently than I do.
Today I don’t have to think about whether I’m married, depending on what state I’m in.
Today I don’t have to think about how I’m going to hail a cab past midnight.
Today I don’t have to think about whether store security is tailing me.
Today I don’t have to think about the look on the face of the person about to sit next to me on a plane.
Today I don’t have to think about eyes going to my chest first.
Today I don’t have to think about what people might think if they knew the medicines I took.
Today I don’t have to think about getting kicked out of a mall when I kiss my beloved hello.
Today I don’t have to think about if it’s safe to hold my beloved’s hand.
Today I don’t have to think about whether I’m being pulled over for anything other than speeding.
Today I don’t have to think about being classified as one of “those people.”
Today I don’t have to think about making less than someone else for the same job at the same place.
Today I don’t have to think about the people who stare, or the people who pretend I don’t exist.
Today I don’t have to think about managing pain that never goes away.
Today I don’t have to think about whether a stranger’s opinion of me would change if I showed them a picture of who I love.
Today I don’t have to think about the chance a store salesmen will ignore me to help someone else.
Today I don’t have to think about the people who’d consider torching my house of prayer a patriotic act.
Today I don’t have to think about a pharmacist telling me his conscience keeps him from filling my prescription.
Today I don’t have to think about being asked if I’m bleeding when I’m just having a bad day.
Today I don’t have to think about whether the one drug that lets me live my life will be taken off the market.
Today I don’t have to think about the odds of getting jumped at the bar I like to go to.
Today I don’t have to think about “vote fraud” theater showing up at my poll station.
Today I don’t have to think about turning on the news to see people planning to burn my holy book.
Today I don’t have to think about others demanding I apologize for hateful people who have nothing to do with me.
Today I don’t have to think about my child being seen as a detriment to my career.
Today I don’t have to think about the irony of people thinking I’m lucky because I can park close to the door.
Today I don’t have to think about memories of being bullied in high school.
Today I don’t have to think about being told to relax, it was just a joke.
Today I don’t have to think about whether someone thinks I’m in this country illegally.
Today I don’t have to think about those who believe that freedom of religion ends with mine.
Today I don’t have to think about how a half-starved 23-year-old being a cultural ideal affects my life.
Today I don’t have to think about how much my life is circumscribed by my body.
Today I don’t have to think about people wanting me cured of loving who I love.
Today I don’t have to think about those who view me an unfit parent because of who I love.
Today I don’t have to think about being told my kind don’t assimilate.
Today I don’t have to think about people blind to the intolerance of their belief lecturing me about my own.
Today I don’t have to think about my body as a political football.
Today I don’t have to think about how much my own needs wear on those I love.
Today I don’t have to think about explaining to others “what happened to me.”
Today I don’t have to think about politicians saying bigoted things about me to win votes.
Today I don’t have to think about those worried that one day people like me will be the majority.
Today I don’t have to think about someone using the name of my religion as a slur.
Today I don’t have to think about so many of the words for me controlling my own life being negatives.
Today I don’t have to think about still not being equal.
Today I don’t have to think about what it takes to keep going.
Today I don’t have to think about how much I still have to hide.
Today I don’t have to think about how much prejudice keeps hold.
Today I don’t have to think about how I’m meant to be grateful that people tolerate my kind.
Today I don’t have to think about all the things I don’t have to think about.
But today I will.

What happens when you point the Hubble Space Telescope to a seemingly blank patch of sky? A view that takes you to the edge of the universe!

Salon writes about The viral genius of “Sesame Street”; With its clever riffs on popular culture, the 41-year-old children’s show has become hipper than ever. And in that vein, Renaissance Geek did five Muppet-related posts the week of October 11-15, including not one, but THREE versions of “Manha, Manha”. Curse you, Eddie!

And I love how the Sesame Street video I Love My Hair has gone viral. ABC News even did a story about Sesame Street head writer Joey Mazzarino, (pictured) who adopted a little girl from Ethiopia named Segi, who hated her hair. “She was going through this phase where she really wanted like the long, blonde hair. … She would look at Barbies and really want the hair.”

Felix culpa, which translated means “happy fault.”

Ken Levine is an Emmy-winning writer who has written/directed and or produced for shows such as MASH, CHEERS, FRASIER, THE SIMPSONS, WINGS, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, BECKER, and DHARMA & GREG. He wrote a review of the new movie The Social Network, and someone asked in the comments whether he thought the movie was sexist. The writer of The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin, answered the question in Levine’s blog. Why has the great Sorkin deigned to respond to a query on someone’s Blogspot blog, the less informed in the blogosphere wondered? Levine notes the fallout.

Speakings of The Simpsons, here’s the Banksy opening. Am I the only person who has NO idea who Banksy is?

Dick van Dyke sings the theme to the Dick van Dyke Show, as well as telling us what he knows about Dicks, vans, and dikes.

The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company. All proceeds from the sale of the products go directly to support the free writing and tutoring programs at 826NYC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

Stan Lee Discusses SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK
When Captain America Throws His Mighty Shield, he’ll be played by Chris Evans, formerly The Human Torch in The Fantastic Four. That’s two Marvel superheroes and two Jack Kirby characters for one career. (Thx to JF for the comics-related stuff.)

ADD reviews Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Human Sexuality. Incidentally, I found this amazingly sensual.

BTW, ADD is having a Trouble with Comics’ Emergency Rent Sale.

10 Unluckiest Musicians In Rock History.

Stayin’ Alive In The Wall (Pink Floyd vs Bee Gees Mashup)

Singer Janice Whaley is covering every Smiths song by the end of the year, using just her voice and some digital trickery.

NASA is in the process of selecting a “wake-up” song for space exploration. The Star Trek theme has fallen to #2! Guess what’s #1.

Tegan has been blogging EIGHT years, as has Johnny Bacardi, which I find incredible.

RepubliCorp™, Buying Democracy, one race at a time.

When Eisenhower took office in 1953, a group of conservative Republicans claimed that the outgoing Democrats had been stealing gold deposits from Fort Knox. Bowing to pressure from the DAR, Ike had the gold counted. Sure enough, it came up ten bucks short: The depository contained only $30,442,415,581.70.

I’m trying to drink more water, so I really needed to know why ice cubes fuse together in water.

A palindrome reads the same backward as forward. This video reads the exact opposite backward as forward. Not only does it read the opposite, but the meaning is also the exact opposite. Make sure you read as well as listen…forward and backward. This video, less than two minutes long, was submitted in a contest by a 20-year old. The contest was titled “u @ 50” by AARP.

30-Day Challenge: Day 28-A Drawing

I can’t help but notice that The Daughter is more externally patriotic than I am.


My daughter is drawing all of the time. This is a piece she did several months ago, which is the one that currently hangs in my cubicle at work. While red, white, and blue, please notice the green G, for Green. She did a similar one for my wife, and since she’s seen mine in my office, she now insists that Carol likewise take hers to HER office.

She does SO many drawings, and she wants to get rid of exactly zero percent of them right now. This winter, during the school break, the sorting will recommence. It won’t be pretty.

I can’t help but notice that she is more externally patriotic than I am. She saw this newspaper full-page piece that says, “I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN”, with the U.S. flag in the middle. It’s been hanging in her bedroom since at least July 4.

55 Questions about books

I never read The Bridges of Madison County, though I started it, but I liked the movie.

From Jaquandor:

1. Favorite childhood book?

Play The Game. It’s a sports anthology that I still own, copyright 1931. It has articles by Rogers Hornsby on baseball, Red Grange on football, Grantland Rice on golf, plus articles on basketball, track, tennis, and the “minor sports” such as swimming and wrestling. I have no idea how I came to have it; I’m not nearly THAT old.

2. What are you reading right now?

Where Did Our Love Go by Nelson George. It’s a book about the rise and fall of Motown.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

Right now, none, but I have had some.

4. Bad book habit?

Starting books and not finishing them. Do it a lot, actually.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

Nothing at present, which is unusual.

6. Do you have an e-reader?

No. I’m a late adapter. I’ll get one a week before the NEXT technology comes out.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

One, maybe two. More likely to finish it that way.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

I probably read less, but my “should read” list has become massive.

9. Least favorite book you read this year?

Don’t know, because I probably just gave up.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas Blackmon.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

Back when I was at my former church, I was in a book club, and we had 10 topics a year. Inevitably, we’d pick topics I’d never would have picked had I not been in the group. Now, almost never leave the non-fiction range.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?

Biographies, non-fiction, generally.

13. Can you read on the bus?

I can, but I tend not to, because I’m so afraid of losing the book. Generally, I read periodicals on the bus.

14. Favorite place to read?

A chair in the living room.

15. What is your policy on book lending?

I will only lend if I am not afraid of never seeing it again. So if it’s of functional or sentimental value, no way.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?

No, and it annoys me that others do.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

Not even in college.

18. Not even with textbooks?

Not even with textbooks. It also was a matter that I might actually SELL those books, so I wanted to keep them nice.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?

English.

20. What makes you love a book?

Learning something new, told in an interesting and honest way. Glaring factual errors will probably diminish the value very quickly.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

Haven’t in decades. People are so different, I find it almost impossible. And when I used to, people would sigh, “Oh, no, one more for the list!”

22. Favorite genre?

Actually, besides non-fiction, comic book packages.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)

Science fiction, I suppose. I know lots of SF fans.

24. Favorite biography?

The Brethren by Woodward and Armstrong. Although I have a soft spot for Mayor Corning: Albany Icon, Albany Enigma by Paul Grondahl because it contains a description of the South African Springbok rugby team and the protest that I participated in.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?

Not in a long time. The last one may have been Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer and that was in 1978.

26. Favorite cookbook?

It’s a Betty Crocker one I got when I first went to college.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or nonfiction)?

A Day Apart: How Jews, Christians, and Muslims Find Faith, Freedom, and Joy on the Sabbath by Christopher D. Ringwald

28. Favorite reading snack?

Pretzels or Wheat Thins.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

Cavalier and Klay by Michael Chabon. Didn’t get past page 55, and I felt badly, because it was “my” genre. I still have it – yikes, I borrowed it from someone; well, more that she lent it to me – and I’ll try again someday.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?

Often, I suppose, because it usually motivated me to read it in the first place.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

Not great, but I will.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?

French.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

I don’t remember. It was undoubtedly so incomprehensible, I let it go.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?

None.

35. Favorite poet?

Billy Shakes.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

One or two.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?

About 50% of the time.

38. Favorite fictional character?

Atticus Finch.

39. Favorite fictional villain?

Iago, for sure.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?

Something on the shelf at home that calls to me. Plus periodicals.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

Last time I was really sick. I remember when I broke my rib a couple of years ago, I could not focus to read even the newspaper for nearly a week, because of the pain and the meds.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

Kavalier and Clay. But I will, by gum.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

A pile of periodicals more than anything.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

To Kill a Mockingbird. I never read The Bridges of Madison County, though I started it, but I liked the movie.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?

Funny, nothing comes to mind. I can’t think of any others where I’ve both read the book AND seen the movie.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?

Around a hundred bucks, probably.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

Depends on whether it has photos in the center. I often look at those first.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

Boredom. Irritation. Lack of time.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

Yes, actually they are. Does this surprise you? Shelf of TV books, movie books, comic-related books. Shelves of music books, religious books, non-fiction, with bios tending to be together.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

I prefer to keep, but once in a while, I do a mini-purge.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

Not particularly.

52. Name a book that made you angry.

I’m sure some sociology text in college that I thought was BS.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

Not likely to start a book I don’t think I’ll like.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?

See, things that I read that don’t work tend to just fall right out of the brain.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

What is this guilt thing? Je ne comprende pas.