July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk

I REALLY want to see the movie Life Itself, about Roger Ebert.

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Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell. To that end, Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations and Congratulations: It’s a corporation.

An answer to the child immigrant problem at the US-Mexican border? I note that the Biblical Jesus was a refugee, his parents fleeing Herod’s wrath. Yet so many people who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ “are so uncaring and hateful about hungry children trying to get to a better, safer place to live.”

In the non-surprise category: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Misleading on Marriage: how gay marriage opponents twist history to suit their agenda.

Yiddish Professor Miriam Isaacs has dug in a previously unknown treasure of over a thousand unknowns Yiddish songs recorded of Holocaust survivors; the text is in Swedish but can be translated. Miriam was my old racquetball buddy decades ago.

The Creation Myth of 20th Century Fundamentalism by Jeff Sharlet, who I also knew long ago.

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe came out as gay. Arthur explains why it STILL matters. Also: I Can Be Christian, and Gay, and Live in Alabama.

Portraits of people in 7 days’ worth of their own garbage.

These next several feel of a piece, about understanding life and each other:
Amy B says This is not a bucket list.
It’s Not as Simple as it Seems: Neal Hagberg at TEDx Gustavus Adolphus College.
Technology has taken much away much.
I Dare You To Watch This Entire Video.
*She Sent All Her Text Messages in Calligraphy for a Week.

Our church, First Presbyterian Albany, hosted a work camp in the city the week leading to the 4th of July. Homes were repaired/painted throughout the city; 400+ youth and adults, from several states, including Hawaii, plus folks from Ontario, Canada, were hosted at Myers Middle School; 75+ First Pres folks volunteered to make it all happen. We received some media coverage, including one of the radio stations, WFLY present on opening day. Here’s the web link to the Times Union article. Plus nice coverage from a local public radio station.

The Importance of Eating Together.

Sinful, Scandalous C.S. Lewis, Joy, and the Incarnation.

Interview with Marion Meade, Dorothy Parker biographer.

Jaquandor, via George RR Martin, on writing. While he writes just one word at a time, I write five or six, accidentally leaving one out.

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With.

Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless.

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Melanie plays with toys. So does Chuck Miller.

GayProf’s life continues at 40.

Is Dustbury, “prolific” as the inevitable consequence of a desire to maximize his output before the time comes when he cannot put out anything? And, I wondered, am I?

I realize that the 45th anniversary of the moon landing depressed me. Here’s part of the reason. Another part is that, despite disliking violence, I understand why Buzz Aldrin punched Bart Sibrel after being harassed by him suggesting that the July 1969 moonwalk was faked.

Cat Islands.

Louis Zamperini Was More Than A Hero.

Paul Mazursky wrote and directed Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), An Unmarried Woman (1978). But I saw (or heard) him in a number of TV shows and movies.

James Garner’s legacy: A commitment to civil rights and political activism.

Why I want to see the movie Life Itself, about Roger Ebert.

Check out this interview Rebecca Jade, my first niece, did recently through Voices of La Jolla. Click on the microphone/link on the upper right-hand corner to listen to the podcast.

Watching the new Weird Al Yankovic videos, especially Word Crimes. Weird Al is a marketing machine.

Did I mention that Paul McCartney came to Albany, NY? And Omaha, Nebraska? Who performed the mysterious ‘train song’ from the Beatles’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’? The George Harrison Memorial Tree killed … by beetles.

Some of SamuraiFrog’s favorite Marvel stories; nice reveal in Fantastic Four #21. Also, for round 15 of ABC Wednesday – YOU can still join! – Mr. Frog will “highlight a different Muppet for each letter, hopefully, some of the lesser-known Muppets and milestones in Muppet history.” So far, A is for Arnold, who you WILL recognize; B is for Bobo the bear.

Superman and the Bible.

For the rest of the summer, absolutely everything new that’s published in the New Yorker will be unlocked. “Then, in the fall… an easier-to-use, logical, metered paywall.”

Renting Liechtenstein.

Could “The Big Bang Theory” get canceled? I’ve watched the show maybe thrice, but I find TV machinations interesting.

Mark Evanier wrote about The Battle of the Network Stars, some cheesy TV competition c. 1977. What struck me is that I knew every actor and the associated show from CBS, all but one from ABC, but had serious trouble with the NBC stars. Even I knew of the actor, say, Jane Seymour, I had no idea what show she was representing.

GOOGLE ALERTS (me)

Arthur responds to my TWO posts on Hobby Lobby.

Dustbury cites my Instant Runoff Voting post and my TMI post.

Mr. Frog tackles #1 Songs on My Birthday, which some of the rest of you regular bloggers – you know who you are – might consider.

(not me)
Alison Green, M.D. will join Green Family Practice Clinic on August 1st as the newest family practice doctor in Newport. “Alison joins the practice established by her father, Dr. Roger Green, continuing a rich family heritage of healthcare providers.”

(image from http://teachr.co/1oik2Qr )

The right words that sound wrong

I think that, unfortunately, “whom” is on the endangered species list.

I was listening to someone speaking on TV, and he had said, “I had drank some coffee.” It was an extemporaneous utterance, not a prepared speech, so I gave him a pass. I know it’s drink/drank/drunk, but the general public thinks of “drunk” only as being inebriated.

There are words that are correct that just sound incorrect. It’s swim/swam/swum, but seldom have I heard the word swum. Grammar Girl has, helpfully, described the the difference between lay/laid/laid and lie/lay/lain. Let’s face it: most people who use the word lain, even correctly, are looked at askance.

I think that, unfortunately, “whom” is on the endangered species list. It’s a perfectly good word, but to say, “With whom are you going?” sounds affected. “Who are you going with?” sounds natural. “Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for ‘whom’.”

What other legitimate words are on the endangered list?

Irwin Corey is 100

Professor Irwin Corey regularly panhandles on the streets of NYC, not for himself, but for a cause.

IrwinCoreyLP Professor Irwin Corey, as I noted five years ago, is an in-law of an in-law of mine, who I’ve met on a few occasions. My maternal grandmother Gert, whose brother Ernie had married Charlotte, whose sister Fran had married Irwin, was SO excited when Irwin would show up on the talk shows hosted by Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, and others. Not sure she understood what he was saying, and I’m fairly positive I didn’t always. But her attraction to this tenuous connection to celebrity was very strong. So we’d always watch when we read in the TV Guide, “Irwin’s going to be on!”

And I guess I’ve become my grandmother, keeping track of Irwin sightings:

Before I began blogging myself, I was reading the now frozen-in-time blog of my friend Fred Hembeck, who has a picture of him with some other creative folks. (2004)

Mark Evanier wishes him a happy 90th. (2004)

Evanier links to Irwin speaking at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York party in 2007 to commemorate the birth and life of Lord Buckley (1906-1960). Some content on the coarse side, and, unsurprisingly, unkind about George W. Bush. (Posted 2008)

An appreciation by Frozen Justice who makes an interesting connection to Sarah Palin (2009). Has a link to the Smothers Brothers show (c. 1966), which I almost certainly watched.

Professor Irwin Corey screwed up the Soupy Sales funeral! Which I can totally believe. And it wasn’t out of disrespect for Soupy. “[He] had to be removed from the podium after his eulogy turned into a diatribe about health-care reform…” (Althouse, 2009)

Evanier links to a 2010 interview on a cable access show.

Irwin regularly panhandles on the streets of NYC, not for himself, but for a cause. (New York Times, 2011)

Happy Birthday to the World’s Weirdest Comic: Professor Irwin Corey, the Gibberish Maven. (Huffington Post, 2012)

An Interview with the Professor Irwin Corey. (CLASSIC TELEVISION SHOWBIZ– Kliph Nesteroff, 2013)

A story about Gilbert Gottfried, featuring Irwin. (Lowbrow Reader, 2014)

C is for Candles

The Princess Diana version of Candle in the Wind is listed as the second best-selling single of all time,

candleWhen you are not very good at crafts, it’s nice to actually find a small niche in which you are not horrible. What I liked about candle making, which I did a few times when I was eight to ten years old, is that it was so relatively easy, even I couldn’t screw it up. Thank you, paraffin.

When I briefly attended a Unitarian church in a city near Albany, I left in part because they actually had a meeting/debate about whether or not to use candles. The argument against was that they were “papist”, too much in the Roman Catholic tradition, though I was a long-standing Protestant had lit plenty of church candles over the years.

One of the traditions of a lot of churches, including the last two, is to light candles and sing Silent Night by candlelight, before blowing them out, and singing Joy to the World as the lights come on. My previous church used to save all the used candles, and melt them down, to add to what became one massive candle. Last I saw it, it was well over a meter tall and weighed dozens of kilograms.

The Daughter loves lighting a candle when we have dinner, for no occasion at all.

Elton John performed a song called Candle in the Wind [LISTEN] in 1973, in honor of the late Marilyn Monroe, who had died a decade earlier. The tune appeared on the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. The song was reworked in 1997 to honor Diana, Princess of Wales.; that single reached No. 1 in many countries, listed as the second best-selling single of all time, after White Christmas. LISTEN to the performance at the funeral, a recording of which I own.

Finally, from the musical-turned-movie Rent, Light my candle [LISTEN]

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ABC Wednesday, Round 15
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Copyright course

I’m doing a book review on Tuesday.

copyrightYou know, I think I understand quite a bit about US copyright law. Still, I decided to take a four-week online course, Copyright for Educators and Librarians, run by Duke University. The instructors are Kevin Smith, M.L.S., J.D., Lisa A. Macklin, J.D., M.L.S., and Anne Gilliland, JD, MLS.

It has a hefty syllabus to read each week, plus a half dozen video lectures. The latter is rather interesting, but the former, much of it right out of the copyright law itself, is dry and occasionally self-contradictory. Work for hire, public domain, fair use – all complicated issues, and those were the ones I KNEW about. The rules regarding the term of copyright in the United States, based on various changes in the law, are mind-bending.

The week runs from Monday to Monday. There’s online class participation each week, and a 10-question test for the first three weeks, with a paper for the fourth.

Did OK the first week. But this coming period is complicated by a book review I’m doing on Tuesday, a wedding and another party I’m attending later in the week, plus a probable lengthy visit to the ortho guy, and quite possibly a vacation, though that is still in flux, after the expense of the recent car trouble. The bride at the wedding is named after me, no lie.

So I need to be terse here. I may not be commenting on your blogs or your Facebook pages; the former I’ll eventually get to; the latter, probably not, especially those FB quizzes. I may be slow approving your comments – but please make them anyway, especially re: yesterday’s post, because it’ll make The Daughter happy! – off and on, for the next three weeks, the duration of the course. It will not affect my blogging, in that I’ve now written a post for every day through August 14, seriously, and August 15 is started; but I’ll be slow to write on current events, significant deaths, and the like.

Know, however, my schadenfreude over the Happy Birthday song lawsuit is very great.