May rambling: lost in the crowd

Hating what you don’t understand

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UN report details humans have pushed one million species to the brink of extinction

China takes the lead on global climate policy and the U.S. steps back

Why You Can No Longer Get Lost in the Crowd

Physicians Get Addicted Too

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Lethal Injections

Southern newspapers played a major role in racial violence. Do they owe their communities an apology?”

Hating what you don’t understand

Riley Howell’s Parents Say He Was Shot 3 Times While Tackling the UNC Charlotte Gunman – eight minutes from my sister’s house

A California teacher on medical leave for breast cancer has to pay for her substitute

What should “electable” mean?

10 U.S. Towns Stuck in Time – I’ve been to 4 of them

The fact that I’m in front of you means that I was here first

Where the US’s Foreign-Born Live Has Changed Over Time

Kid’s ‘Wow’ reaction to hearing Mozart

How I Read and Why

Doris Day dead at age 97

Tim Conway, RIP

May Chris Farley’s memory be a blessing

“Behind the scenes” visit to Sesame Street done by 60 Minutes Australia

Roosevelt Franklin – Muppet of Sesame Street

The Tony awards are June 9 on CBS

Inside the World’s Only Museum Dedicated to Ventriloquism

Tennis star Hans Redl

Albany Patroons basketball game day

Binghamton Rumble Ponies get first no-hitter in 13 years

Afterlife in New Zealand

Now I Know: The Dancing Plague and Why You Shouldn’t Take Advice From a Board Game and Why These Windows Don’t Have Windows and When a Truck Driver Had a Very Delicious Meltdown and The Cars that Karaoke and Why Do I Keep Getting Calls from Slovenia?!

Hyper-Casual Games Gone Viral

Australian $50 note typo: spelling mistake printed 46 million times

She was the ‘queen of the mommy bloggers,’ then her life fell apart

Will this WordPress theme allow me to make money?

Funny goats: screaming like humans; an inside joke from staff training in Ithaca

MUSIC

Que Sera Sera – Doris Day

Mama – Clean Bandit

Believer – Bigfoot & Puddles

Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Mackenzie Johnson

Ottorino Resphigi’s The Pines of Rome

Grow – Sabrina Lentini

Danzas de Panama by William Grant Still

StillSane – Carolyne Mas

Alassio (In the South) – Sir Edward Elgar

I Eat Dinner (When the Hunger’s Gone) – Kate and Anna McGarrigle

Coverville 1261: Cover Stories for Billy Joel and Echo and the Bunnymen

The Story Behind The Twilight Zone Theme Song

The Simpsons’ “Upstate New York” song

When TWO bloggers, one who started in 1996 and the other in 2005 post this separately, who am I to argue?

The Beatles off-white album

April rambling: Unbreaking America

Why Did the U.S. Government Pay for a Painting of Strawberries? Two-thirds of the paintings, in total, are by women. This wasn’t because women of the era liked to paint fruit.

No Room!
“Looking Backward,” drawn by the brilliant Austrian-born Joseph Ferdinand Keppler (February 1, 1838 – February 19, 1894) for Puck magazine, January 11, 1893

First image of a black hole revealed.

Slave Owners’ Names Are on Dorms at a SUNY School. That’s Changing. New Paltz is my undergraduate alma mater.

Why There’s So Little Left of the Early Internet.

Anderson Cooper speaks the “language of loss”.

Amy Biancolli: talking to the darkness.

“I Had Nothing”: How Parole Perpetuates a Cycle of Incarceration and Instability.

You Are Probably a Victim of the Largest Theft of All Time.

TEDx: we all should be feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Weekly Sift: Mueller by Gaslight.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: the sinister sides of World Wrestling Entertainment and the Mobile Home Industry.

Behind Bars, Co-Pays Are a Barrier to Basic Health Care.

The Death of an Adjunct Professor.

An aging population and a declining birthrate among the native-born population mean a shrinking workforce in many areas.

The Stephen Miller Presidency.

What an Empire Built on Nazi Collaboration Says About Our Economy.

Political Notebook: Politics last week and this week.

FTC Data Spotlight Shows Steep Rise in Complaints about Social Security Scams.

Unbreaking America: A NEW Short Film about Solving the Corruption Crisis.

New Zealand Parliament bans assault weapons.

“Men do not learn much from the lessons of history and that is the most important of all the lessons of history. “
– Aldous Huxley

The Persistence of Attachment.

What can an ice mummy teach us about heart disease?

Watch The World Turn.

The reason we bake at 350F.

5 Things to Do When You Have Too Many Ideas and Never Finish Anything.

Bless Your Heart doesn’t mean what you probably think it means.

Inside Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon’s Unconventional Marriage and ten minutes with Fosse.

Remembering William Goldman.

Re: Dwayne Wade: Now this is a proper sendoff

Minor League Baseball announces pace-of-play rules for 2019 and this is what Major League Baseball fandom looks like across the country.

Now I Know video: This Guy Tastes Ice Cream For a Living.

Now I Know: Who is Dr. Fill and why are these people afraid of him? and This idea to augment the postal service was a catastrophe and Why You Shouldn’t Carpool with Winnie the Pooh and especially Why Did the U.S. Government Pay for a Painting of Strawberries?

MUSIC

Religion – PJ Morton feat. Lecrae.

Faith – Business Casual.

Dead Boys -Sam Fender.

Live from New York, it’s Aubrey Logan.

Heaven Is a Place on Earth – KT Tunstall.

Video Killed The Radio Star – Walk off the Earth feat. Sarah Silverman

My Heart Will Go On – Big Daddy

Les chansons des roses – Morten Lauridsen.

You Get What You Give – Scary Pockets.

Africa – Robyn Adele Anderson.

Pencil Neck Geek – Don Blassie.

Coverville: 1257: A Cover Chain with Birthday Covers for Stan Ridgway, Katrina Leskanich, Norah Jones, Mandy Moore, and Brian Setzer

FUV ESSENTIALS: Richard Thompson.

Baseball Hall of Fame: Mariano Rivera

The author “draws a distinction between allegations stemming from the ‘Wild West’ era before testing and penalties were in place and those that resulted in actual suspensions.

Mariano RiveraThere will be a time that I’m less invested in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I don’t follow the game nearly as much in the past decade as I did last century.

But the Hall points to past accomplishments. One must be retired for five years to be eligible. Then one must receive 75% of the votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to be inducted.

There are 35 players on the ballot, 20 players eligible for the first time, and 15 players who had received at least 5% of the ballots in the previous year. The writers can pick up to 10 players.

If I were to be able to vote, I wouldn’t pick the colorful outfielder Manny Ramirez, despite his mostly stellar career. This article by Jay Jaffee of Sports Illustrated addresses the reason: “On performance alone, [he is] a Hall of Famer, but his drug transgressions make voting for him anything but automatic.”

Interestingly, the author “draws a distinction between allegations stemming from the ‘Wild West’ era before testing and penalties were in place and those that resulted in actual suspensions. I wouldn’t vote for Ramirez at this juncture.”

My picks – stats are HERE.

1. Barry Bonds (7th year on the ballot, 56.4% of the votes need last year) – 14-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove Award winner, seven National League Most Valuable Player Awards, the most of any player all-time.

2. Roger Clemens (7th year, 57.3%) – Won record seven Cy Young Awards. Jaffe alludes to the fact that the alleged performance-enhancing actions that the best outfielder and best pitcher on the ballot were not actually banned at the time.

3. Edgar Martinez (10th year, 70.4%) – Named to seven All-Star Games, Won AL batting titles twice. It’s his FINAL year of eligibility, and while I’m no great fan of the designated hitter, who generally bats for the pitcher, he’s SO close to the 75% promised land.

4. Fred McGriff (10th year, 23.2%) – A five-time All-Star. Also his final year of eligibility. “Crime Dog” is a borderline great player, and he won’t make it, but what the heck.

5. Mariano Rivera (1st year) – Led American League in saves thrice, Named to 13 All-Star Games Ranks first all-time in saves (652). The best closer (relief pitcher) of his generation.

6. Todd Helton. (1st year) – Five-time All-Star. I think I have an anti-Colorado Rockies bias because the altitude gives hitters an advantage.

7. Miguel Tejada (1st year) – Six-time All-Star. his name came up in the steroid scandal. Rafael “Palmeiro had told an arbitration panel he tested positive after receiving a vial of liquid vitamin B-12 from Tejada. Tejada was cleared of any wrongdoing,” but I’d be surprised if he got in this year.

8. Larry Walker (9th year, 34.1%) Won seven Gold Glove Awards, Named to five All-Star Games. Another Colorado Rockies player who deserves more support.

9. Andy Petitte (1st year) Holds all-time Postseason records for wins, innings pitched and games started. If he hadn’t been playing for the Yankees, he might not have had such opportunity to play in October.

10. Mike Mussina (6th year, 63.5%) 11 seasons with at least 15 wins, Named to five All-Star teams, Won seven Gold Glove Awards.

There are others I definitely considered such as the Omar Vizquel, Jeff Kent, and the late Roy Halladay, who died in a boating accident in 2017.

October rambling: the crime of art

The Parable of the Perfect Pot

Jury
Norman Rockwell painting The Jury (1959)
How Do Christians Fit Into the Two-Party System? They Don’t

How America Became the Incredible and Jaw-Dropping Laughingstock of the World

Brace for Impact, as the Climate “End Game” Has Arrived

This guy doesn’t know anything’: the inside story of Trump’s shambolic transition team

The regime announced it would no longer give diplomatic visas to the same-gender domestic partners of UN staff or diplomats unless the couples are married

Are Men Victims Now?

Fitbit Data Ties 90-Year-Old Man to Murder

The Coders Programming Themselves Out of a Job

David Cronenberg: I would like to make the case for the crime of art

The Parable of the Perfect Pot

Justine Bateman Has Some Thoughts on the Fame Cycle

Eric Idle discusses many of the characters he’s played

How Will Police Solve Murders on Mars?

Our blind dog finally has a seeing eye dog

Table for one?

Oddities and anomalies from the second half of the 2018 Minor League Baseball season

Now I Know: The Queen’s Secret Code and The Tomato Plant Versus the Volcano and Hawaii’s Spam Scam

What’s My Line? – Edgar & Candice Bergen (Sep 12, 1965) at 18:50

MUSIC

Rhapsody in Blue (Gershwin), Arthur Rubinstein School of Music Symphony Orchestra with the young Polish pianist Maja Babyszka. Conductor: Henryk Wierzchoń. June 21, 2015

Rodgers and Hammerstein music at the BBC Proms

Thirty Seconds to Mars – Brooklyn Duo (Cello & Piano Cover of The Kill song)

All My Lovin’ – Amy Winehouse

K-Chuck Radio – Upstairs with Yaz

Someone to Watch Over Me – Sleeping At Last

MOZART Symphony No 40 in G minor KV550, LEONARD BERNSTEIN, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra

A Reason To Fight – Disturbed

Evil Ways – Willie Bobo

Outside the trains don’t run on time – Gang of Four

Mary Poppins rag

Coverville – 1235: Cover Stories for Olivia Newton-John and The Mamas and The Papas

Giacchino Rossini’s overture to his opera William Tell

Vinyl records hit all the right notes

Enjoying Aussie interaction: sports edition

The Blue Jays lead grew to 8-1 in the top of the 7th when Tommy Kahnle from Albany County, NY, the fourth of seven Yankee pitchers, gave up three runs in only 2/3 of an inning.

Making only my second trip to the new Yankee Stadium, Marconi and I took Metro North from Poughkeepsie (halfway between Albany and NYC) to see the New York Yankees take on the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, September 15, 2018. I’ve only known him since September 12, 1971, so not very long.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the two empty seats on the aisle nearest us were filled by this young couple from Australia, in the City for a couple weeks. She was wearing a borrowed Blue Jays top, while he was nominally a Yankees fan.

Soon after they arrived, the Yankees starting pitcher, the usually reliable CC Sabathia, had given up five runs in only 2 1/3 innings, including two solo home runs by right fielder Randal Grichuk. CC was taken out of the game.

Meanwhile, the Yankees had opportunities to score, twice with the bases loaded, and once with runs on second and third base, but failed to do so. This really deflated the home team crowd.

We, mostly I, since I was closer, answered some of the idiosyncrasies of the game, such as the foul ball rule and how the defensive positions are numbered.

Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorius hit a solo homer in the bottom of the 6th, and the female Aussie frowned. “You still have a big lead.” I also coaxed her into acknowledging that he had made a great basket catch over second base.

The Blue Jays lead grew to 8-1 in the top of the 7th when Tommy Kahnle from Albany County, NY, the fourth of seven Yankee pitchers, gave up three runs in only 2/3 of an inning. Toronto had the bases loaded and no outs, and the Aussie guy was savvy enough to know that the situation was still perilous for the Yankees even when the lead runner was thrown out at the plate.

In in the bottom of the 7th, designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (I explained the DH) and Gregorious hit solo homers, and pinch hitter Miguel Andújar hit a grand slam. Suddenly Toronto was up by only 8-7, and the Aussie woman fretted. But that’s the way the game turned out.

The scoreboard displayed narratives of what the batters had done earlier in the game. But in the latter stages, it showed scorecard shorthand. F7 meant flying out to the left fielder. The Aussie guy was bemused to know that a forward K meant struck out swinging while a backward K meant struck out looking.

“How do you KNOW these things?” he asked. “I’ve been only going to games since I was eight.” “So 20 years.” HA! A splendid time was had by Aussies and at least these two Americans.

Oh, I was in Washington, DC at the beginning of September. I was starving one muggy evening, and I ended up at a tavern/restaurant. I sat at the bar, got a burger and a drink, and had a nice conversation with an Aussie woman currently working in the US. She mostly bemoaned the leadership of her home country and her current one as we watched the US Open tennis on TV.