May #2: Philosophy of the world

Why Is Everyone Running for President?

Waiting for the But
xkcd -licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.
What I Lost (and Can Never Get Back) When My Father Was in Guantanamo North

How Poor Oversight and Fraud in Generic Drug Industry Threatens Patients’ Health

Why Is Everyone Running for President? It’s a Billion-Dollar Industry

‘We’ve created a civilisation hell bent on destroying itself – I’m terrified’, writes Earth scientist

What Changed My Mind About Climate Change? Risk management is not a binary choice

Last Week with John Oliver: Green New Deal and Death Investigations

Last American slave ship discovered in Alabama

What Reparations for Slavery Might Look Like in 2019

Largest ever class of black women graduating from West Point – 32!

Hilde Lysiak of the Orange Street News gives commencement address at Reed School of Media at West Virginia University

‘We must be in this together. Relentlessly.’ Deborah Lipstadt, MA ’72, PhD ’76, delivered the keynote address at Brandeis University’s 68th Commencement

Arthur’s Unexpected reboot

Understanding the divine sense of humor

Why certain words are left out of our English-language Bibles

Kindness Can Be Taught. Here’s How

Casting announced for The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World, Joy Gregory and Gunnar Madsen’s acclaimed Off-Broadway hit, at the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, NY July 11-14, 18-21

Portrait of Steve Martin and Martin Short on 60 Minutes Australia

The Bob Emergency: a study of athletes named Bob- Part I and Part 2

The Secret Behind the Success of Avengers Endgame – not that much of a secret

Blogging revelation and reflection

How to Be an Ethical Influencer and I’m A Supposed Influencer and An Open Letter to Professional YouTubers

Now I Know: What do you do when someone you don’t like is wearing your clothes? and The Second Life of Crayons and Pigcasso

Does This Dress Make Me Look Guilty?

Why do people love coffee and beer

Ignaz Trebitsch-Lincoln was one of the most remarkable adventurers, scoundrels and fraudsters of the 20th century

To keep his daughter from getting bored on a family trip a dad had her Irish Step Dance in every location they stopped in at Ireland

8 Things Your Credit Card Can’t Buy

The Worst Product Ever

MUSIC

Rolling Stone – Annie & the Hedonists

Someone You Loved– Lewis Capaldi.

And The Waltz Goes On – André Rieu, composed by Anthony Hopkins

Symphonic suite for the Hayao Miyazaki film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Joe Hisaishi

Coverville: 1262: This Day in Covers – 1989 and 1263: The Smiths Cover Story

Revenge of the Space Pandas, by David Mamet

We heard a truly intentionally awful version of the initial fanfare from Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra.

I heard one of my young nieces would be starring in a David Mamet play, and that it was clean! You mean, the guy who wrote Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo, and Sexual Perversity in Chicago, all of which I’ve seen in some form, had written a divinely silly, family-friendly, retro-sci-fi romp called “The Revenge of the Space Pandas or Binky Rudich and the Two-Speed Clock”?

Yup, back in 1978. The Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, about 45 minutes south of Albany, is presenting eight performances of the play: “Binky Rudich, his friend Viv, and his almost human sheep Bob tinker with a two-speed clock…” They end up in “Crestview, Fourth World in the Goolagong System, ruled by George Topax and guarded by the Great Space Pandas.”

The theater is small with about 100 seats. My family drove down on Sunday, though I was severely jet-lagged. The last folks seated were a couple with four kids, in my row. I got up so they could sit down and the woman did, but the guy went into the previous row and lifted the kids over the chairs and then climbed over himself.

I liked The Revenge of the Space Pandas and its various actors quite a lot. The story was silly and absurd and quite possibly newly relevant. There was a point during a transitional scene where we heard a truly intentionally awful version of the initial fanfare from Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra. Some boy in the audience asked, “Why is this funny?”, which generated its own laughter.

Here’s Steve Barnes’ review in the Albany Times Union. He rightly praises Wil Anderson as Binky, who “has the right cool-geek persona.” Also, “David Smilow is amusingly mercurial as the feckless ruler of the space-panda planet, whose punishment of choice is dropping an enormous pumpkin onto the heads of the doomed… Special kudos to Natalie Parker for her deadpan turn as the ukulele-strumming court jester. (Parker also wrote the jester’s songs.)”

Oh, that couple with the kids? She was Mary Stuart Masterson, star of Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) and Benny & Joon (1993) and a bunch of other stuff. She looked familiar, but I didn’t place her at the time. Her husband Jeremy Davidson is also an actor. They stayed afterward to praise the cast.

March rambling: complicated meanings

Luna Lee on the gayageum

At Current Rates Of Use World Could Run Out Of Thoughts And Prayers By As Early As 2019

We Are all Nixonians Now

There Are No Good Guys With Guns

What To Do When Racists Try To Hijack Your Religion

‘National Geographic’ Reckons With Its Past: ‘For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist’

‘Stay Strong,’ And Other Useless Drivel We Tell The Grieving

The Encyclopedia of the Missing

When the only way to go free is to plead guilty

3 Far-Flung Cities Offer Clues to Unsnarling Manhattan’s Streets

OVERLOOKED: 15 obits of notable women

Alaska as a Red-to-Blue(ish) Model

‘The story of a weird world I was warned never to tell’

Union College says it found strand of George Washington’s hair

Stop Using the Label ‘Struggling Reader,’ Author Jacqueline Woodson Advises

Why Do We Need to Sleep?

The Unexpected Benefit of Train Travel

Rare Photo of Harriet Tubman Preserved

Digging into my family’s claims of Cherokee ancestry

in praise of soft targets

Stephen Hawking dies at 76 on Einstein’s birthday and Pi day; despite ALS, his mind roamed the cosmos

RIP, David Ogden Stiers

Dalai Lama, Chicago in May 2008:
“The universe is in a constant state of becoming—an ongoing miraculous creation. Every day we awaken to that miracle with gratitude, respect, and compassion for all who share the gift of being.”

Memories of ‘M*A*S*H’: Inside Stories of the Most Famous Episodes (and Castings)

The Loophole

Smartphones Are Getting Dumber…on Purpose

A Finnish comedian explains the complicated meanings of an English word

Legendary toy demonstrated to have squirrel-repelling properties

Faking It: The Obviously Dubbed Telephone Ring

Aldi’s supermarkets history

A PhD In Batman

A niece at Carnegie Hall

Now I Know: The Florida City Fueled by Soda and Baseball’s Unluckiest Fan and How Bazooka Joe Lost a Baseball Glove

Not me: Couple begins rekindling an eighth-grade romance

MUSIC

Camille Saint-Saens’s Septet for piano, trumpet, and strings, Opus 65!

Hamilton Polka

The Music of Paolo Tosti – Carla Fisk and Michael Clement

Will Jesus Wash The Bloodstains From Your Hands – Hazel Dickens

Everlasting Arms – Luke Winslow-King, Vasti Jackson, Dr. John, and Roots Gospel Voices of Mississippi

Norma Tanega (and Dusty Springfield)

There Is A Time – The Darlings (Andy Griffith Show)

Tush – Luna Lee on the gayageum

Cover of Take on Me (a-ha)

Sound of Silence – Todd Hoffman

Taxman – Joe Bonamassa, Live at The Cavern Club

Inside the Life of Brenda Lee, the Pop Heroine Next Door

January rambling #2: Don’t Wanna Fight

Jeopardy! Contestants Present: “Get Well Soon, Alex!”, some of whom I know personally.

Doomsday Clock Now ‘2 Minutes to Midnight’

Amy Biancolli: life is huge

John Green: On emergencies

The Women’s Marches Could Have Lasting Consequences

How Arafat Eluded Israel’s Assassination Machine

Water run out: Days are numbered in Cape Town

Evangelical toadies are destroying the Christian brand and The death of Christianity in the U.S.

I Was a Successful Journalist When a Doctor First Handed Me Opioids

Good People Don’t Defend A Bad Man

How he convinced America that character doesn’t matter

His Racism: The Definitive List

How democracies die

Why Don’t Norwegians Immigrate to the United States?

More than 160 women say Larry Nassar sexually abused them; here are his accusers in their own words and It’s Time For Every Last Coward Who Enabled Nassar To Pay For Their Sins

When convictions are clearly wrong, these prosecutors don’t just hinder justice—they actively work against it

N.Y. gun violence costs state economy over $5.6B a year

An experiment involving monkeys watching cartoons shows how far Volkswagen went to manipulate research on the harmful effects of diesel fuel

FACEBOOK begins its downward spiral

“Keep going today. Keep moving amid every obstacle. Keep moving amid every mountain of opposition” – MLK, Jr.

The Reasonable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics

A Tiny New York Town With Not One, But 5 Indie Bookstores

10 Letters We Dropped From The Alphabet

Ursula K. Le Guin, acclaimed science fiction writer, is dead at 88; Le Guin on Tolkien

RIP Hugh Wilson (WKRP)

Connie Sawyer, World’s Oldest Working Actress, dies at 105

Comic strip creator Mort Walker, R.I.P. Beetle Bailey was the brother of Lois in Hi and Lois

Jeopardy! Contestants Present: “Get Well Soon, Alex!” and Alex Trebek returned to taping Jeopardy!

From Robert Waldo Brunelle Jr’s collection of vintage ephemera, circa 1912

How STAR WARS was saved in the edit and Star Wars’ infamous Holiday Special, explained

Some nice Albany photography

Hello Chuckthewriter.blog!

Now I Know: How Fire and Fury Fueled a World War II Revival and Now I Know: How Some Places are Beeting the Snow and When A Penny Saved is Ten-Thousand Pennies Earned and The A-Maze-Ing Solution to a Bar’s Legal Problems and Why Nike Makes Glowing Sneakers

Aristocrat, friend of royalty and cad and card cheat Sir William Gordon-Cumming

MUSIC

Holly Holy- Neil Diamond (live 1971)

Sunny Afternoon – the Rodford Files

Cry Like A Rainstorm – Bonnie Raitt

Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes

John Knowles Paine Symphony No. 2: In Spring

Coverville 1201: Cover Stories for Pat Benatar and Shawn Colvin and 1202: Cover Stories for the Kaiser Chiefs and the Thompson Twins and 1203: Journey and Cheap Trick Cover Stories

The River Cam – Eric Whitacre

H.P. Lovecraft’s “Nemesis” has the same meter as Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”

Nights at White Castle

5 Songs You’ve Never Heard That You’ve Heard 1000 Times

Two Catskill HS Students to Perform at Carnegie Hall, one of whom I know well

Hugh Masekela, great South African jazz trumpeter, died at 78

Edwin Hawkins, Known for the Hit ‘Oh Happy Day,’ Is Dead at 74

Mark Edward Smith (1957-2018) of The Fall

Denise LaSalle, singer and writer of earthy songs dies at 78

Hormones appear to affect our musical preferences