March rambling: censorship figures

Unsold Pilots

The American Library Association (ALA) released censorship figures from 2023. The data are alarming.

The 10th anniversary of the Foilies — awards given to public agencies responsible for the most egregious, absurd, and outrageous defiance of freedom of information requests.

Student Loans: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

FTC Releases Report on Grocery Supply Chain Disruptions: Pandemic-induced disruptions disproportionally impacted smaller firms, as larger companies sought to protect market share, power

Businesses Are Not as Agile as They Think

Jobs most impacted by AI

Bob Westphal died early this morning. Someone accurately wrote, “He was a wonderful person, an honest seeker, lover of poetry, storyteller, and friend.” He was also one of the Bible Guys until he moved away a few years ago and a member of the First Pres Choir from 2007 to 2009.

Jeanette Sharp,  Ph.D. died. From her obit:  “She developed macular degeneration at an early age, which eventually progressed to complete blindness. Despite this hurdle, she earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from SUNY Albany. She worked at Albany Medical Center, and held a private practice until her retirement in 2018.” I sang with her for several years at the Trinity UMC choir. We shared a birthday. I was quite fond of her.

Why the I’s have it. Is there a physiological reason why we say “tick tock” rather than “tock tick?” Why does the “i” get first position in all of our i/o word combinations (as in “ping pong”)? Writer and narrator Robert Krulwich explores the phenomenon in this video essay.

Are You Mispronouncing These U.S. City Names, such as Schenectady?

Doctors warned women of developing “bicycle face” from cycling in the 19th century.
Kelly gets rid of some open tabs
Bad proposed laws in New York State
Steven Sanders of Troy, a former member of the state Assembly for 28 years, writes in the Times Union: 
“Legislation being circulated in Albany would criminalize certain acts of protest. Such laws would be way out of bounds…

“According to a state Senate bill (S. 8646), anyone who obstructs public thoroughfares, even a single street or avenue, with an “intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm” could be charged with ‘aggravated disorderly conduct’ and jailed for up to a year. Under an Assembly proposal (A. 8951), persons engaged in similar conduct could be indicted as “domestic terrorists,”  a Class D felony that could be punishable by up to seven years behind bars. Those measures would surely intimidate individuals from exercising their First Amendment rights or participating in time-honored civil disobedience or protests. Criminalizing such actions would be a serious suppression of political speech.

“Under another measure before the Assembly (A. 8334), a person who disrupts a public meeting by being unruly or not obeying the rules set forth by the moderator could end up charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which could bring up to one year in jail. This kind of protest conduct is common, albeit bothersome. But who may or may not be arrested for such behavior is a totally subjective decision. Giving such wide discretion to police officials will inevitably lead to selective enforcement.”

Pop culture

“It’s a Silent Fire”: Decaying Digital Movie and TV Show Files Are a Hollywood Crisis. Industry pros sweat the possibility that many digital files will eventually become unusable — an archival tragedy reminiscent of the celluloid era.

Oscars’ Best Casting Award: Which Movies Would’ve Won Over 96 Years of Academy History?

M. Emmet Walsh, Actor in ‘Blood Simple,’ ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘The Jerk,’ ‘Slap Shot,’ ‘Brubaker’ and ‘Critters’ Dies at 88

Mark Evanier celebrated Unsold Pilots Week March 10-16, including these television one-offs: Stick Around (1977) with Andy Kaufman as a robot; Carol Channing Show (1966); Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe (1959) with Kurt Kasznar as Nero Wolfe and William Shatner as his sidekick, Archie Goodwin; Operation Greasepaint (1968) created by the comedy team of Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster, it starred the comedy team of Jack Burns and Avery Schreiber;  Scared Stiff (1971), written and produced by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson much in the vein of an old Abbott and Costello movie, starring Bob Denver and Warren Berlinger;  Dick Tracy (1967) by most of the folks who brought you the Batman TV, starring Ray MacDonnell; and Bozo the Clown (1954) with Gil Lamb

William Shatner on His Biggest ‘Star Trek’ Regret – and Why He Cried With Bezos

2024 ToC Champion Yogesh Raut | Inside Jeopardy!
Greg Hatcher: ‘And Friday’s Contestants Are …’
Up in the sky … it’s a restored Superman!

Now I Know: Good Mousekeeping and The Blind Man and the Armless Man Who Planted 10,000 Trees and The Town Where It’s Fun to Be a Grouch and The World’s Oldest Kindergartener and The Endless “Africa” in Africa and The Problem with Customer Support Chatbots [I DO so hate them]


Kamasi Washington – Prologue

Peter Sprague Plays We Love The Drums featuring Duncan Moore

Favorite Songs By Favorite Artists: Guadalcanal Diary and Earth, Wind, & Fire

Polovtsian Dances by Alexander Borodin from his opera Prince Igor 

Coverville 1480: Eric Carmen Tribute and Sly and the Family Stone Cover Story and 1481: Tributes for Steve Harley (and Cockney Rebel) and Karl Wallinger (and World Party)

Bully – Atom Bomb

Hoagy Carmichael sings the Yabba Dabba Doo Song on The Flintstones

Your Forgiveness – Paul Simon (LIVE on The Late Show)

“Life Is Incredible” – Stephen Colbert’s FULL EXTENDED interview with Paul Simon

The Father Of All Music — Why Not Listening To Bach Is A Mistake


Starting on St. Patrick’s Day, I received the same spam comment from several sources. But they had one feature in common: the names were related to vaping, such as best mouth to lung vape and brit beast sub-ohm tank.

“Hi, It has come to our attention that you are using our client’s photographs on your site without a valid licence. We have already posted out all supporting documents to the address of your office. Please confirm once you have received them. In the meantime, we would like to invite you to settle this dispute by making the below payment of £500. Visual Rights Group Ltd, KBC Bank London, IBAN: GB39 KRED 1654 8703, 1135 11, Account Number: 03113511, Sort Code: 16-54-87 Once you have made the payment, please email us with your payment reference number. Please note that a failure to settle at this stage will only accrue greater costs once the matter is referred to court. I thank you for your cooperation and look forward to your reply. Yours sincerely, Visual Rights Group Ltd, Company No. 11747843, Polhill Business Centre, London Road, Polhill, TN14 7AA, Registered Address: 42-44 Clarendon Road, Watford WD17 1JJ”

Interestingly, the photos included ones I’ve taken myself, pics from federal government sites, the promo stuff from movies, and even the duck I’ve been using for nearly 19 years.

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