Being for the benefit of…

Yes, THAT Paul Simon

I shall have gone to three benefit events in a two-week period in October. None of them, unsurprisingly, were in person. Two of the three I HAD attended in person LAST year. But that was so long ago.

Wizard’s Wardrobe

The Wizard’s Wardrobe is a program in Albany’s South End. “Children spend time with a special tutor just for them — to read, write, and explore the wonderful world of books.” It was started by two members of my church, Deb and Eric Fagans. They were inspired by the TED talk Once Upon a School.

The program grew out of the relationship our church had developed with the Giffen Elementary School in the South End of the city of Albany. Several of our members tutored at Giffen and held an annual Book and Author event there.

The benefit on Monday, October 5 featured Katherine Paterson, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Bridge to Terabithia. She read as did local authors Margaret Miki Conn, Lorraine Garnett, and Marion Roach Smith. The Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate New York performed The eyez in the wall, written and directed by Aaron Moore. The ASL Interpretation was provided by Marian Eaton. The Master of Ceremonies was Rex Smith, Editor of the Times Union newspaper.

There was a ZOOM afterparty following the presentation. I knew about half of the participants personally. One of the attendees was Gregory Maguire, a local author who’s done well. He wrote the book Wicked, upon which the musical was based. What’s the correct protocol for departing a gathering online?

Green The Senate, Save the Planet

Paul Simon hosted an event to support seven US Senate candidates on Thursday, October 8. The singer wrote, “In a year that has been incredibly challenging, often overwhelming, and too often heartbreaking, it is easy to become discouraged. But future generations are counting on us, and I urge you to channel your energy in these final days before Election Day to help secure a pro-environment majority in the Senate.”

Simon began the program by singing American Tune. Then there were videos, including from the sponsor Give Green and from former Presidential candidate and rich guy Tom Steyer. Some of the candidates gave brief video presentations.

Then Simon interviewed three of them: Steve Bullock (MT), Jamie Harrison (SC), and Theresa Greenfield (IA). Paul was an unsure questioner, seeking to ask certain things and at the same time wanting the candidates not to be hemmed in by his queries. Still, the candidates acquitted themselves well.

After another video, Paul sang The Boxer, Homeward Bound, Sound of Silence, and Here Comes the Sun. He was accompanied by a guy named Mark Stewart. He was wearing a mask, but I think he’s this guy.

Literary Legends@Home

The Friends and Foundation of the Albany Public Library are having its annual Literary Legends Gala on Saturday, October 17 from 7 to 10 pm. Each year, the group “selects a new outstanding person of letters in our community, and invites the community to celebrate them with a cocktail reception in their honor.” Well, not in person THIS year.

The FFAPL is honoring the writer Elisa Albert. Past honorees have included William Kennedy, Paul Grondahl, Amy Biancolli, Gregory Maguire, Barbara Smith, Marion Roach Smith, Dr. Leonard Slade, Athena Lord, Frankie Bailey, Alice Green, Peter Golden, Lyn Lifshin, and Dan Wilcox. (The second time Gregory and Marion appear in this post.)

The gala is the primary fundraising effort of the FFAPL, which “provides critical financial support to the Albany Public Library in order to help the Library provide education, literacy, career development, cultural enrichment, and lifelong learning.” It can provide mini-grants for the library to offer programming that the APL cannot. One can buy tickets here.

BTW, on October 20 at 12:15 pm, there will be a ZOOM review of the book Outgrowing God: A Beginner’s Guide by Richard Dawkins. The reviewer will be Carl Strock, a former columnist for the Daily Gazette, Schenectady. It is free but one must preregister here.

Oct. rambling: idealism, cynicism

coming to the aid

CELL PHONE FUNCTIONS

cell phone functions
XKCD is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.
Pew Research: In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

Obituary: Megan Angelina Webbley, 1988-2019

How corporations are addressing guns

John Oliver: National Weather Service

The Best Places to Live in a Future Troubled by Climate Change – Upstate New York state gets an honorable mention.

Vehicle recycling: AN ECO-FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVE

The Apartment Shortage Controversy

Today’s Environmental Crisis Was Created in 1919

Arkansas’ Phillips County Remembers the Racial Massacre the US Forgot

An entire Manhattan village owned by black people was destroyed to build Central Park

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama spoke at the funeral of Congressman Elijah Cummings

Why The Normalization of Stan Culture is Unhealthy

Tips you need to know to help you spot fake news

D.C.’s Newseum Is Closing Its Doors at the End of the Year

What Happens Right Before Your Best Employee Quits

The Best Home Protection: Home Security Systems

Eeyore is named onomatopoeically, after the braying call of a donkey; he’s the most depressing character in the Pooh universe

Idealism

Students at Albany Medical College are coming to the aid of sanctuary seekers in the US; victims of persecution, torture, and other abuses are three times more likely to be granted asylum if they are evaluated by medical professionals and can provide an affidavit in court

Goodbye DARE — More Schools Are Embracing Realistic Drug Education

A good reason to brush your teeth – from the American Dental Association

How Long Do Average U.S. Marriages Last?

Was Bruce Springsteen born to be a filmmaker?

Greg Burgas: Idealism and cynicism in art

Albany Library Foundation gala photos by DTrae Carter (I’m in there somewhere)

Now I Know: When Playing a Doctor on TV is Good Enough and How a Cute Cartoon Created a Catastrophe of Raccoons and The Secret Life of Supermarket Apples and The Lifesaving Powers of Being an NFL Superfan and The Bird That Set The Record Straight and Why You Can’t Perform Hamlet at the Bar and What’s So French About the F-Word?

Canned Pumpkin Isn’t Pumpkin At All

Mad as a Hatter

INDIVIDUAL 1

Do What’s Right – chockablock with links

He serves nobody except himself

Fact-checking

The un-American president: he hugs the flag every chance he gets, but the truth is very dark indeed

The Daily Show: Kurds edition; John Oliver: Syria

AIER: Presidential Harassment Is a Public Good and Five Wrong Claims about Trade

Rob Dreher in The American Conservative: Is he mentally unstable?

Doral was sited for 524 health code violations from 2013 to 2018

Nate White: Why do some British people dislike him?

Taylor’s Testimony Goes Way Beyond Quid Pro Quo

William Barr’s Wild Misreading of the First Amendment

MUSIC

Guiliani – Randy Rainbow

The Fury – a suite from John Williams’s score

Coverville: 1282: Cover Stories for No Doubt and Avril Lavigne and 1283: Yes Cover Story and Yacht Rock Revue Interview

Piano Sonata No. 9 by Alexander Scriabin

Moses Supposes from Singin’ in the Rain, re-created by dancer Derek Hough and an animated Donald O’Connor

The Isle of the Dead, Sergei Rachmaninov’s epic tone poem

How’d You Like to Spoon With Me? – Angela Lansbury, from Till The Clouds Roll By (1946)

Swing You Sinners! (Fleischer Studios)

You’ve Got to Eat Your Spinach – Mae Questel

Hocus Pocus – Focus, from Disney and Pixar’s Onward, released 6 March 2020

Nippertown: IN MEMORIAM: LYRICIST ROBERT HUNTER Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performing member of the Grateful Dead

June rambling: fragments of finality

new Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact!

Close but no cigarTheir billionaire descendants, who control Krispy Kreme, Stumptown and other brands, are grappling with the exposure of an unspeakable secret.

The Iranian People Are Not Our Enemy.

John Oliver: Mount Everest’s tourist industry.

Nearly 1 in 4 American adults are worse off now than before the Great Recession.

Forgiveness Is a White Privilege.

The “Moral Budget” is a plan for the future, because everybody has the right to live. Rev. William Barber: “Jeremiah 22 tells us that when political leaders abuse their office & hurt the poor, we must show up in person to deliver a prophetic indictment. Now is the time.”

Weekly Sift – Socialism: What’s in a word?

Best game show host. “Who is Alex Trebek?”

Mark Evanier’s Mayberry Monday.

Arthur’s Internet Wading for June 2019.

Now I Know: Why Frogs Ribbit and The Art of No Noises and Rudolph the Red Knows Undersea Warfare, Dear and The Everyday Hockey Superhero For Hire.

Fastest lawnmower.

HELP

Explosion science: an animated guide to building demolition

A Guide to Low Cost or Free Drug Rehab Options.

How to Make Your Bedroom Accessible for Disabilities.

The EARTH

U.S. Air Quality Is Headed the Wrong Way

‘Plasticrust’: A new form of pollution is forming on a Portuguese island.

LGBTQ+

Karen Oliveto — United Methodist Church’s first lesbian bishop. My wife knows Karen; Karen’s sister and my wife were college roommates.

Not everything we “know” about the Stonewall Rebellion is true; heck, just read Arthur’s blog all month.

New GLAAD Study Shows Decline in LGBTQ Acceptance In 18-34-Year-Olds.

Barbara Walters interview with playwright-actor Harvey Fierstein (1983)

djt

The Lawless Administration.

John Oliver: Impeachment.

Sulzberger wanted to reach the business leaders and conservatives who read the Journal.

Twitter Will Put Warning Labels On His Rule-Breaking Tweets

Kimmel Shows How His Campaign ‘Monetizes Stupid’.

The Most Serious Accusation Yet?

FATHER’S DAY

Bobmill: The final story and Fragments of finality.

Could Donor #2065 Be My Father?

Census Bureau Releases First-Ever Report on Men’s Fertility.

MUSIC

I Only Smoke When I Drink – Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact

Tiny Desk Concert – Sesame Street

Once Upon A Time – MonaLisa Twins, featuring John Sebastian

Coverville – 1266: Cover Stories for Alanis Morissette, and Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople and 1267: Cover Stories for Stereophonics and The Kinks.

The New Gospel of Rock.

Disney Medley on plastic bottles.

Don’t Send Me Away – Garfield Fleming.

How Beethoven went from Napoleon’s biggest fan to his worst critic.

The Day the Music Burned.

P is for protecting the environment

“The technology to implement 100% renewables already exists.”

With all the bad ecological news – As Antarctic Melting Accelerates, Worst-Case Scenarios May Come True – it’s good to look for something positive in terms of protecting the environment.

I received a bulk email from Bill McKibben last week. McKibben is author, educator, environmentalist, and Co-founder of the non-profit organization 350.org, whose goal is to build “the global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to science and justice.”

The numerical reference is this: the organization encouraging citizens to publicize the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in order to pressure world leaders to address climate change and to reduce CO2 levels from 400 parts per million to 350 parts per million.

McKibben writes: “The world cannot afford to continue to rely on fossil fuels. Scientists now tell us that at current rates, within a decade we’ll likely have put enough carbon in the atmosphere to warm the earth past the Paris climate targets. We are running out of time.

“However, we also now know what we can do, and we’re increasingly certain it can be done: We have to switch off coal, oil, and gas, and switch on 100% water, wind, and sun.

“Cities and states around America are already moving towards this goal. Countries around the world are outpacing us: transport in the Netherlands is run increasingly on wind power, Santiago’s train system will run entirely on solar power soon, China can power provinces the size of Texas for a week straight.

“The technology to implement 100% renewables already exists and we have public opinion on our side. A majority of Americans favor government action to increase the development of renewable energy.

“Corporate interests and politics stand in our way. I know we can overcome them. We must.

Learn more about this fight for 100% Renewables by reading my article.” Which you should.
***
Download Climate 101: Renewable Energy
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Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles
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Flipping the Script on Fossil Fuels
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TECH RECYCLING CENTERS in the US. Did you know that recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by 3,657 U.S. homes in a year according to the EPA?
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Learn about the steps to become a Smithsonian Gardens Green Ambassador
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From Tuck Sleep: What Do “Green” Certifications Really Mean? and Eco-Friendly Alternatives To Throwing A Mattress Away

For ABC Wednesday

August rambling #3: struck by a cow

’twas but a glancing blow

Professor Jonathan Frink Sr, voiced by Jerry Lewis

U.S. Productivity: What Is It, How to Calculate It

Workers, the labor movement and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Play The Bail Trap Game!

Hitting the pavement instead of the sheetcake

Vice News/HBO Documentary on Charlottesville

Vloggger brothers: Race is uncomfortable for me to talk about

Kim Kingsley: My Life Lessons in Rust Belt Racism

Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago

Kickstarter: Mine! : a comics collection to benefit Planned Parenthood

8 years of suffering under Barack Obama

Religion for the Nonreligious

Alaska’s permafrost is no longer permanent. It is starting to thaw

The yard of campaign yard signs

Forgotten Technology: Man Lifts 20 Ton Block By Hand

Warren Roberts: Reflecting on my blogs at the Times Union

REVIEW: “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at the Mac-Haydn – the Wife and I saw this show. It was great, but we were so near the stage we feared that we’d have our feet being stepped on. And I was struck by a cow – seriously. A stuffed cow that was launched from the French castle; ’twas but a glancing blow

Jay Thomas on Letterman.- The ‘Lone Ranger’ Story (2014)

Which Gaming Console Was the Most Popular?

Tony Isabella: To Black Lightning, with love

Now I Know: The Political Race Which Was, Literally, a Race and Drinking and Drive-Overs

Give the back of your hand to opisthenar

THAT GUY AND HIS FAMILY

Friedrich wrote letter begging not to be deported

The White nationalist House

The Message in Joe Arpaio’s Pardon and Fascism as a Unifying Principle

The Constitutional Crisis Has Begun

DJT’s list of false and misleading claims tops 1,000

How He Uses Deceit And Propaganda To Shape Perceptions

The Village Voice did a profile back in 1979—nothing’s changed, he’s always lied

How the Secret Service Treats Protestors

How he Ruined My Relationship With My White Mother

Chelsea Clinton comes to Barron’s defense after conservative criticism

MUSIC

Housequake -Prince, live (1987)

Waiting For The Waiter – MonaLisa Twins ft. John Sebastian

Coverville 1182: August birthday cavalcade

It’s Good News Week – Hedgehoppers Anonymous

K-Chuck Radio: I want a Beach Boys a cappella album right now!!

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Barbershop Harmony Society

Gated reverb: The sound of the ’80s

Gordon Lightfoot’s 10 Best Songs

Gene Kelly would have been 105 this month

The Good Old Days, and Two Lost Souls – Jerry Lewis in Damn Yankees

Rent Party Rag – Spider John Koerner

Sesame Street: ’80s Music Mashup Parody and El Patito, featuring Ernie and Rosita

Children’s March: Over the Hills and Far Away, by Percy Grainger

Hello Goodbye – the Beatles